Denny Hamlin Edges Ryan Blaney For Third Daytona 500 Winby Hunter Thomas February 17, 2020 0 comments
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Denny Hamlin edged Ryan Blaney by 0.014 seconds to win the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Monday.
The Daytona 500 was originally scheduled to conclude on Sunday, but the field was only able to complete 20 laps due to rain. Hamlin started from the rear after his car failed pre-race technical inspection, but it didn’t take the 39-year-old long to reach the front as he led a race high of 79 laps.
On the final lap, Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney and Hamlin battled it out for the win. Newman led the field out of Turn 4 but was sent spinning and an absolutely horrific crash unfolded. Hamlin and Blaney continued, and it was the Joe Gibbs Racing driver crossing the finish line first by a mere 0.014 seconds as he defended his race title; however, after the race, all attention turned to Newman and his safety.
At this moment there are no updates on Ryan Newman’s condition. Please take a moment to pray for him and all involved.
Following the race, Hamlin said, “I think we take for granted sometimes how safe these cars are. We’re praying for Ryan (Newman). Worked really well with Ryan through this whole race. Obviously, he got turned right there. Proud of our whole FedEx team. I don’t even know what to say, so unexpected. I knew they were going to come with a big run there. My job was to just make sure I didn’t put a block up where they would wreck me so I could make it to another corner. We got to the 12 (Ryan Blaney’s) bumper and got the push from there. I knew I was going to give him a big run.
The win marks Hamlin’s third Daytona 500 victory. He now joins Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon for third on the all-time Daytona 500 wins list.
Chris Buescher who returned to Roush Fenway Racing this season finished third behind Hamlin and Blaney. David Ragan and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer finished sixth, followed by Brendan Gaughan, Corey LaJoie, Newman and Kyle Larson.
John Hunter Nemechek was the highest finishing rookie as he crossed the finish line in 11th.
There were 24 lead changes among 13 drivers.
On Monday, there were two major crashes that brought out the red flag.
On lap 185, a bump draft that went amiss between Joey Logano and Aric Almirola sent Brad Keselowski spinning down the backstretch. Half of the field was involved as 20 cars crashed. The red flag was displayed for 9 minutes and 36 seconds.
The third red flag of the race came out on lap 200 after Ross Chastain and Ryan Preece made contact and crashed while heading into Turn 1. Nine cars were caught up in the pile up.
The NASCAR Cup Series will visit Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, February 23 on Sunday, February 23 for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. Live coverage will broadcast at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the Performance Racing Network (PRN).
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images