Published: Tue, February 19, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Hamlin cruises to 2nd Daytona 500 victory in 4 years

Hamlin cruises to 2nd Daytona 500 victory in 4 years

Denny Hamlin won the 61st running of the Daytona 500 after not winning a NASCAR race past year. He also won it in 2016, while the team's first victory in the Great American Race - and first win for the team only in its second season - was back in 1993 with now-NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett. Erik Jones finished third to give Joe Gibbs Racing the top-three spots.

Paul Menard triggered the biggest wreck, a 21-car crash shortly after a restart with 10 laps to go. The victory on Sunday was a fine tribute to JD Gibbs, who died last month after battling a degenerative neurological disease.

The famous Florida racetrack was the scene for chaos as NASCAR racers were involved on no fewer than five crashes in the final 20 laps of the 200 in regulation.

Hamlin said he would soak up his win, and he said he knows he would have a hangover on Monday: "I'm going to hate tomorrow, but I'm going to love the rest of my life". "It wrecked a lot of cars".

"No, I don't", he said.

Hamlin was feted for his second Daytona 500 victory inside the Bill France Room on the second floor of the speedway's Tickets & Tours Building, receiving a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch as part of his reward for taking the No. 11 FedEx Toyota to victory lane in the final race of AdventHealth Speedweeks.

"It is the most emotional and biggest win I've ever had in my life, in anything", Gibbs said.

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"It's awesome to see a JGR auto in Victory Lane for Joe and J.D. and everything that's kind have gone on this offseason".

Denny Hamlin has officially won the 2019 Daytona 500!

"Not winning the Clash, not winning the Duel, maybe a little bit under the radar, but certainly we knew what we were capable of in the Duel", Hamlin said Monday morning after his winning vehicle was delivered to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America outside Turn 4 at Daytona International Speedway.

Ty Dillon was sixth in the highest-finishing Chevrolet.

Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row of Sunday's starting grid, with Byron on the pole and Alex Bowman on the outside of Row 1.

At 34 years of age and having spent the last seven seasons as a full-time driver on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Almirola is coming off the best season of his career.

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