MENCS: Denny Hamlin wins 2019 Daytona 500

Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s 61st annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Hamlin was able to stay ahead of three wrecks in the final 17 laps – including a jaw dropping 21-car collision 10 laps from the originally scheduled finish.

For Hamlin, this marks his second victory in the Great American Race in the last four tries. In addition, it was a top 3 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing as Kyle Busch was second and Erik Jones was third.

Joey Logano and Michael McDowell would round out the top five.

“What happened here is really unreal,” Joe Gibbs told Fox after the race, referring to his son JD Gibbs who passed away last month. “I’m emotionally shot. I’m just saying, what happened here was really unreal. I think JD had the best view of everything.”

“The whole family, they’ve done so much for me over the course of my career. This one’s for JD. We’re desperately going to miss him for the rest of our lives. His legacy still lives on through Joe Gibbs Racing.” Denny Hamlin told Fox after the race.

Sunday was Hamlin’s first NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series win since Darlington in late summer of 2017. Hamlin would snap a 47-race winless streak.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ty Dillion in sixth, Kyle Larson in seventh, Ryan Preece in eighth, Jimmie Johnson in ninth and Ross Chastain in tenth.

“The Big One,” which everyone comes to expect on Superspeedway’s such as Daytona and Talladega occurred on Lap 191. Paul Menard bump-drafted Matt DiBenedetto, triggering the massive pileup that brought out the red flag.

On Lap 194, another seven-car wreck occurred involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr., ALex Bowman, Chase Elliott and others. Then with two laps to go, the race was sent to overtime after another wreck.

Sunday marked the final restrictor plate race in NASCAR history. Now on, tapered spacers will replace restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega.

Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney

Race Winner: Denny Hamlin