Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag for Joe Gibbs Racing a month after Joe Gibbs’ oldest son died.

Denny Hamlin has won his second Daytona 500 in four years, taking the checkered flag for Joe Gibbs Racing a month after Joe Gibbs’ oldest son died following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs was 49.

Hamlin moved out front after a final restart and had teammate Kyle Busch blocking in the final lap. Busch finished second, followed by another team, Erik Jones. Defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano was fourth.

Joe Gibbs says “what happened here is really unreal.”

Joe Gibbs Racing and Fox Sports paid tribute to J.D. Gibbs early in the race. The team and the television network recognized Gibbs during the 11th lap of the Daytona 500.

Gibbs’ favorite number was 11, the car number Hamlin has driven for the team since 2005.

Before Hamling won, “The Big One” came late in the Daytona 500.

Paul Menard triggered a 21-car accident shortly after a restart with 10 laps to go in “The Great American Race.”

Menard turned Matt DiBenedetto, who slammed into the wall and started a chain-reaction that collected more than two dozen cars. It brought out a red flag that stopped the race for a lengthy cleanup.

Menard says “I’ll take the blame for that one.”

Defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez were among those involved in the mess.

Almirola seemingly had the wildest ride, his back wheels getting lifted off the pavement and landing on David Ragan’s windshield.

This content has been curated by Quality Sports News
Original Article: https://www.si.com/racing/2019/02/17/denny-hamlin-wins-daytona-500

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