DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – He did it for J.D.
In overtime, Denny Hamlin with J.D. Gibbs’ name on his No. 11 FedEx Toyota, held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, to win the 61st running of the Daytona 500 and his second in four years.
Hamlin won the 2016 running of the 500 in a photo finish, the closest ever, over now-teammate Martin Truex Jr., who had been driving the No. 78 Toyota at the now-defunct Furniture Row Racing.
The victory also snapped a 47-race winless streak for Hamlin in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series — his first win since scoring his second Southern 500 back in September 2017.
“The whole family, they’ve just done so much for me throughout the course of my career. This one’s for J.D.,” Hamlin said. “We’re desperately going to miss him the rest of our lives, but his legacy still lives on at Joe Gibbs Racing.
J.D. Gibbs, the oldest son of Joe Gibbs, died Jan. 11 due to complications following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease.
Hamlin led 30 laps en route to the 32nd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win. This time, the 38-year-old who was raised just 25 minutes north of Richmond International Raceway in Chesterfield, is going to enjoy his 500 triumph a little more.
“I think I was so dumbfounded with everything the first time, with photo finish and everything,” he said. “This one will let me soak it in a little more. I’m going to have a terrible hangover tomorrow, but I’m going to enjoy it the rest of my life.”
The win all but guarantees a spot in the 2019 Monster Energy Playoffs for Hamlin, who made the cut last year despite going winless for the first time in his Cup career.
It was also the fourth major victory for Hamlin, who also has two Southern 500 wins.
Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano was fourth, and Michael McDowell completed the top-five.
Rounding out the Top 10 were Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson, Ryan Preece, Jimmie Johnson, and Ross Chastain.
There were two overtimes, two red flags, and three wrecks in the final 10 laps.
The ‘The Big One’ occurred on Lap 189 when the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford of Paul Menard, who had previously complained about Johnson causing ‘The Big One’ at the Clash, turned Matt DiBenedetto going into Turn 3, triggering a 22-car pileup.
Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, Daniel Hemric, Johnson, Kyle Larson, Logano, Ryan Newman, Preece, David Ragan, Daniel Suarez, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Tifft, and Martin Truex Jr. were among those collected.
Kyle Busch won Stage 1, while Blaney earned the Stage 2 victory.
Monster Energy Cup Series Race Number 1
Unofficial Race Results for the 61st Annual Daytona 500 – Sunday, February 17, 2019
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, FL – 2.5 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 207 Laps – 517.5 Miles
|1||10||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Express Toyota||207||6||0||45||Running|
|2||31||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota||207||1||0||45||Running|
|3||28||20||Erik Jones||Sport Clips Toyota||207||10||0||35||Running|
|4||4||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil Ford||207||3||10||42||Running|
|5||34||34||Michael McDowell||Love’s Travel Stops Ford||207||0||0||32||Running|
|6||22||13||Ty Dillon||GEICO Chevrolet||207||0||0||31||Running|
|7||26||42||Kyle Larson||Credit One Bank Chevrolet||207||8||0||33||Running|
|8||21||47||Ryan Preece #||Kroger.com Chevrolet||207||0||0||29||Running|
|9||17||48||Jimmie Johnson||Ally Chevrolet||207||0||9||30||Running|
|11||2||88||Alex Bowman||Nationwide Chevrolet||207||2||0||35||Running|
|12||35||2||Brad Keselowski||Discount Tire Ford||207||0||4||32||Running|
|13||5||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Fastenal Ford||207||0||5||30||Running|
|14||19||6||Ryan Newman||Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Ford||207||0||0||23||Running|
|15||25||96||* Parker Kligerman(i)||Gaunt Brothers Racing/Toyota Toyota||205||0||0||0||Running|
|16||20||3||Austin Dillon||Dow Chevrolet||205||0||0||21||Running|
|17||18||9||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet||200||7||0||24||Accident|
|18||32||32||Corey LaJoie||Old Spice Ford||200||0||0||19||Running|
|19||38||51||BJ McLeod(i)||Jacob Companies Chevrolet||200||0||0||0||Running|
|20||6||14||Clint Bowyer||Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford||199||0||0||17||Accident|
|21||1||24||William Byron||Axalta Chevrolet||198||0||2||25||Accident|
|22||16||40||Jamie McMurray||McDonald’s/Cessna/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet||198||0||0||15||Accident|
|23||30||62||* Brendan Gaughan(i)||Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Chevrolet||197||0||0||0||Accident|
|24||27||0||Landon Cassill||PERMATEX Chevrolet||196||0||0||13||Accident|
|25||12||1||Kurt Busch||Monster Energy Chevrolet||196||0||0||12||Running|
|26||3||4||Kevin Harvick||Busch Beer Car2Can Ford||194||9||7||17||Accident|
|27||39||31||* Tyler Reddick(i)||Symbicort Chevrolet||191||0||0||0||Accident|
|28||9||95||Matt DiBenedetto||Procore Toyota||190||0||6||14||Accident|
|29||7||21||Paul Menard||Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford||190||0||0||8||Accident|
|30||24||38||David Ragan||Select Blinds Ford||190||0||0||7||Accident|
|31||14||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards/Peak Ford||190||5||1||22||Accident|
|32||8||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||190||0||3||13||Accident|
|33||23||41||Daniel Suarez||Haas Automation Ford||190||4||8||14||Accident|
|34||29||8||Daniel Hemric #||Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Chevrolet||190||0||0||3||Accident|
|35||11||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Bass Pro Shops Toyota||190||0||0||2||Accident|
|36||33||36||Matt Tifft #||Speedco Ford||190||0||0||1||Accident|
|37||15||37||Chris Buescher||Kleenex Wet Wipes Chevrolet||190||0||0||1||Accident|
|38||13||43||Bubba Wallace||Aftershokz Chevrolet||169||0||0||1||Accident|
|39||37||52||Cody Ware #||Winn Dixie Chevrolet||155||0||0||1||Accident|
|40||40||27||* Casey Mears||Chevrolet||104||0||0||1||Accident|