Hamlin Dashes Past Crashes for Emotional Daytona 500 Victory

Published on 18-Feb-2019 by J Square Humboldt

Motorsports    Motorsports Daily Update

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Hamlin Dashes Past Crashes for Emotional Daytona 500 Victory

Even the most casual of racing fans are aware of two obviosities every February:

What's often overlooked is his son, JD Gibbs, had a lot to do with the team's success.


JD was the team's co-founder and co-owner with his dad. He lost his battle with a degenerative neurological disease just over a month ago.

The Daytona 500 was the first race since his passing, and the team was determined to make it a tribute to him.

That they did: a 1-2-3 finish with Denny Hamlin -- whose car carried the same No 11 as JD's football jersey -- getting the checkered flag:


Joey Logano finished in fourth place, which provided an appropriate coda to the finishing order.

He credited JD with a smooth transition in to the team back in 2008 when he replaced Tony Stewart, and while he's moved on, it seems he's accepted the karma of the moment.


Beyond question, the secondary story in this 61st running of America's Race was the carnage all day long.

The last 20 laps alone featured five crashed and two cautions, with one that put paid to a mind-blowing 18 cars.


Talk about thinning the field, but that was just the coup de grace.

Bent metal was everywhere:


Frankly, all that was missing were a few crazy Russians and a dashcam.


It's no surprise, then, that only 14 cars finished on the lead lap, which is more than anyone can say for the Russian drivers. Ever.

Anyway, this Daytona triumph was Hamlin's second in four years. It's a decent comeback from last season, when he got zipped outta the winner's circle.

For the record, Kyle Busch came in second and Erik Jones was third. JD woulda been proud.