Denny Hamlin pulled off one of the closest photo finishes in NASCAR history.
After 500 miles of intense racing during the Super Bowl of NASCAR races, 2006 Rookie of the Year Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag. According to ESPN on their report on the finish, it looks like race officials had to confirm Denny’s win as it was one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history. With a final lap to go, Denny Hamlin pulled off a bold move that saw his Toyota Camry move to the outside of Martin Truex Jr. ultimately edging him out on the line. According to Bob Pockrass,
"“The margin of victory of one-one-hundredth of a second is the closest in Daytona 500 history.”"
Check out the finish video below for yourself and you can be the judge at just how epic this win was.
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Denny Hamlin’s dominance started early on in the race even though he started 11th on the grid. During the fourth lap, Hamlin arguably made the biggest move of the race working his way up to third place. After a caution flag on lap 20 with many cars coming into the pits and a restart on Lap. 25, Hamlin and Kurt Busch grabbed the lead.
With 200 miles into the race, a move by Jimmie Johnson for the lead saw Hamlin, Busch and Truex. Jr chasing. By Lap 99, Hamlin took back the lead with Kenseth and Truex Jr. behind him. By this time, over ten driver had the lead at some point.
With the fourth caution of the race and Hamlin pitting with two new tires, he regained the lead on Lap. 77. According to his teammates, his car was running pretty much perfectly.
Although favorite Dale. Earnhardt Jr. was favored to win, a spinout on the infield knocked him out of the race.
Then on the final lap with Martin Truex leading, the rest was history.