There was good racing, there was strategy, there were big ones, and there was concern. The Great American race may have been rained out Sunday, but Monday, it was time to finish off this race for good.
Denny Hamlin has won the 62nd running of the Daytona 500. The 11 FedEx Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing has won back to back and his third Daytona 500. Hamlin lead 79 laps and would win stage two. His teammates were not as lucky. Busch Class winner Erik Jones in the 20 DeWalt Toyota was the second highest finishing Joe Gibbs car in 18th. Martin Truex Jr in the 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota was involved in the big one, finishing 32nd. Defending champ Kyle Busch looked to win the 500 in his 16th try, but will have to wait until next season as engine problems forced the 18 M&M’s Toyota to finish 34th.
Hendrick Motorsports started off with one of the fastest cars on the track, but slowly, all four faced problems. The first was early on in stage one when William Byron in the 24 Axalta Color of the Year Chevrolet Camaro was turned by the 47 Kroger Chevy of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Byron, who won Duel 2, finished last in 40th. In his final Daytona 500, it looked as if Jimmie Johnson would either finish in the top five, or win the race. However, he was caught in the big one later on. The 48 Ally Chevy led three laps and finished 35th. Alex Bowman in the 88 Valvoline Chevy led three laps and finished 24th. Chase Elliott won stage one, and led 23 laps. However, the 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro finished a disappointing 17th.
Rick Ware Racing’s David Ragan who is semi retired finished fourth the 36 Select Blinds Ford Mustang. His former teammates finished inside the top 20. Rookie John Hunter Nemechek finished 11th in the 38 CitGard Heavy Duty Engine Oil Ford. Michael McDowell led a lap finished 14th in the 34 Loves Travels/Speedco Ford.
Stewart Haas Racing had two cars finish in the top ten, while the other two finished their 500 in disappointment. Kevin Harvick did not lead a lap, but finished fifth in the 4 Busch Light #PIT4BUSCH Ford Mustang. His teammate Clint Bowyer in the 14 Rush Truck Center/Mobil 1 Ford finished sixth just after being involved in a wreck with Justin Haley in the 16 FCE Camaro and Michael McDowell.
Ryan Blaney almost had the Daytona 500 won. The 12 Peak/Menards Ford Mustang GT for Team Penske lead four laps but fell short against Hamlin. Bluegreen Vacation Duel 1 winner Joey Logano led six laps but finished 26th after being involved in the big one. Brad Keselowski led 30 laps in the 2 Discount Tire Ford, but was wrecked on lap 185. Keselowski finished 36th.
Ryan Newman led 15 laps in the 6 Koch Ford Mustang for Roush-Fenway Racing. On the final lap, Newman was being pushed by Blaney, trying to win his second Daytona 500. However, the worse happened as he was turned, flipped over, and hit on the window net side by Corey LaJoie in the 32 RagingBull.com Ford for Go Fas Racing.
The safety crew immediately came to check on Newman, and it didn’t look good. He was shipped to Halifax Medical Center where it was announced that he was in serious condition, but the injuries were non life threatening. On Tuesday, Newman woke up, talking to his family.
His teammate, Chris Buescher, finished third in the 17 Fastenal Ford.
Pole Sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr finished 20th in the Kroger Chevrolet for JTG-Daugherty Racing. He had one of the best cars, but a crash ruined his night. Second year driver Ryan Preece crashed was involved in the big one on lap 200. Preece finished 29th in the 37 Cottonelle/Kroger Camaro.
The next race is the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Green flag drops at 3:30 Sunday on Fox.
Daytona 500 Results
- Denny Hamlin 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Ryan Blaney 12 Peak/Menards Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Chris Buescher 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang Roush-Fenway Racing
- David Ragan 36 Select Blinds Ford Mustang Rick Ware Racing
- Kevin Harvick 4 Busch Light/#Pit4Busch Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Clint Bowyer 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Brendan Gaughan 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro Beard Motorsports
- Corey LaJoie 32 RagingBull.com Ford Mustang Go Fas Racing
- Ryan Newman 6 Koch Ford Mustang Roush-Fenway Racing
- Kyle Larson 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet Camaro Chip Ganassi Racing
- John Hunter Nemechek (R) 38 Citgard Heavy Duty Engine Oil Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Austin Dillon 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off-Road Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Justin Haley (R) 16 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Camaro Kaulig Racing
- Michael McDowell 34 Love’s/Speedco Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Bubba Wallace 43 United States Air Force Chevrolet Camaro Richard Petty Motorsports
- Brennan Poole (R) 15 SpartanGO/Spartan Mosquito Chevrolet Camaro Premium Motorsports
- Chase Elliott 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Erik Jones 20 DeWalt Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Matt DiBenedetto 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Parts Ford Mustang Wood Brothers Racing
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 Kroger Chevrolet Camaro JTG-Daugherty Racing
- Christopher Bell (R) 95 Procore Construction Software Toyota Camry Leavine Family Racing
- Aric Almirola 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Joey Gase 51 EFX Corporation/PageKC.com Chevrolet Camaro Rick Ware Racing
- Alex Bowman 88 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Ross Chastain 77 Advent Health Chevrolet Camaro Spire Motorsports
- Joey Logano 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Timmy Hill 66 VSI Racing/RoofClaim.com Ford Mustang MBM Motorsports
- Tyler Reddick (R) 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Ryan Preece 37 Cottonelle/Kroger Chevrolet Camaro JTG-Daugherty Racing
- Ty Dillon 13 GEICO Chevrolet Camaro Germain Racing
- Reed Sorenson 27 Chevrolet Camaro Premium Motorsports
- Martin Truex Jr. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats/ATVs Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Kurt Busch 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro Chip Ganassi Racing
- Kyle Busch 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Jimmie Johnson 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Brad Keselowski 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Cole Custer (R) 41 Haas Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- B.J. McLeod 52 52 Christensen Arms Ford Mustang Rick Ware Racing
- Quin Houff 00 Jacob Construction Chevrolet Camaro StarCom Racing
- William Byron 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
Ian O’Brien is a Contributor for the Unwrapped Sports Network website. Follow him @Ianthekicker41 on Twitter.