Denny Hamlin races to Daytona 500 win

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Denny Hamlin held on to the lead after a two-lap restart to win his second Daytona 500. He beat teammates Kyle Busch and Erik Jones to the finish line in a 1-2-3 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing.

The win comes in the first Cup Series race after JGR co-owner J.D. Gibbs’ death. J.D. Gibbs, the son of former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, died in January at 49 after dealing with a neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs helped get Hamlin a ride at Joe Gibbs Racing and ran the No. 11, Hamlin’s number, during his own driving career.

“This one’s for J.D.,” Hamlin said after climibing from the car. “We’re desperately going to miss him the rest of our lives.

A 21-car crash with less than 10 laps to go took out a host of contenders including Aric AlmirolaMatt DiBenedettoRyan BlaneyPaul Menard and many others. DiBenedetto was getting a push from Menard at the front of the field and got turned around and into Menard. That set off a chain reaction crash that ended up with David Ragan’s car piledriven underneath the back of Almirola’s car for a brief moment.

DiBenedetto had led the most laps of any driver (49) until the crash.

A smaller wreck thinned the herd even further with less than six laps to go. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made an aggressive move on a blocking Kyle Larson that ended up in a crash involving themselves, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott.

And another crash took out even more cars with less than two laps to go. Clint Bowyer tried to make a pass on Michael McDowell and get in front of McDowell. But Bowyer wasn’t clear of McDowell when he moved across the nose of McDowell’s car and ended up in a crash that took out Elliott (again), Wlliam Byron, Brad Keselowski and others.

First 1-2-3 team finish at Daytona in 22 years

JGR’s top-three sweep is the first time since the 1997 Daytona 500 that a team has taken the top three spots in NASCAR’s biggest race. The last team to do it was Hendrick Motorsports, who had teammates Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven finish behind Jeff Gordon as Gordon won his second Daytona 500.

The victory also comes three years after Hamlin won his first Daytona 500. He beat Martin Truex Jr. to the line by inches in what is still the closest finish in Daytona 500 history. Coincidentally, Truex is a Joe Gibbs Racing teammate of Hamlin’s and was the only team car not to finish in the top three. He was collected in the 21-car crash and finished 35th.

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Daytona 500 odds revealed
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Daytona 500 odds revealed

29. Ty Dillon: 100/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(AP Photo/Terry Renna)

T-27. David Ragan: 80/1 odds

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(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

T-27. Chris Buescher: 80/1 odds

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(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

T-24. Ryan Preece: 66/1 odds

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(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

T-24. Michael McDowell: 66/1 odds

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(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

T-24. Matt DiBenedetto: 66/1 odds

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(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

23. Daniel Hemric: 50/1 odds

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(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

T-21. Ryan Newman: 40/1 odds

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(AP Photo/John Raoux)

T-21. Darrell Wallace Jr.: 40/1 odds

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(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

T-19. Kyle Larson: 33/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

T-19. Austin Dillon: 33/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

18. Paul Menard: 28/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

17. Erik Jones: 22/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-13. William Byron: 20/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

T-13. Jimmie Johnson: 20/1 odds

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(AP Photo/John Raoux)

T-13. Daniel Suarez: 20/1 odds

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(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-13. Alex Bowman: 20/1 odds

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(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

12. Kurt Busch: 16/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-9. Ryan Blaney: 14/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

T-9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 14/1 odds

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(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

T-9. Martin Truex Jr.: 14/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-6. Kyle Busch: 12/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

T-6. Chase Elliott: 12/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-6. Aric Almirola: 12/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-3. Kevin Harvick: 10/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

T-3. Denny Hamlin: 10/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

T-3. Clint Bowyer: 10/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

2. Joey Logano: 8/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

1. Brad Keselowski: 7/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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