Hamlin Wins Third Daytona 500
In a photo finish, Denny Hamlin edged Ryan Blaney to win his third Daytona 500 on Monday night.
The remaining 180 laps of the Daytona 500 was delayed to Monday due to inclement on Sunday. The green flag waved and the race resumed on Lap 21. Chevy and Ford immediately took to pit road to top off on fuel and get fresher tires to race for the first stage win of the season. Chase Elliott lead the way for Chevrolet and remained up front to win Stage 1.
Typically, drivers will hang in the back in an effort to avoid any wrecks that occur up front. Toyota remained in the back and made there way to the front of the pack shortly after the second stage began. Hamlin raced his way to the front to win Stage 2.
The intensity ramped up as the laps winded down. On Lap 184, Joey Logano bumped Aric Almirola into Brad Keselowski causing a chain-reaction accident that collected 19 cars. Unfortunately, that accident collected seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who likely made his last Daytona 500 appearance.
With one lap to go, the race was forced into overtime after another multi-car wreck occurred. Before the first lap of overtime was complete, Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell spun through the tri-oval to send the race into a second overtime.
When the green flag waved on the second overtime, Hamlin pushed his way to the front. Hamlin was able to pass Blaney for the win after a wreck broke out behind them. Denny Hamlin is the fourth driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500s, joining Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Sterling Marlin.
Blaney finished behind Hamlin in the second closest Daytona 500 finish in history followed by, Chris Buescher, David Ragan and Kevin Harvick.
The wreck that occurred on the last lap collected Roush Fenway Racing's, Ryan Newman. Newman was taken to a local hospital and is being treated. According to a statement from Roush Fenway, Newman is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated that his injuries are not life threatening.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads out west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400 on Sunday, February 23 at 3:30 p.m. on FOX.
Denny Hamlin Delivers at Bristol
After a fierce battle with Matt DiBenedetto, Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
Like some of his race wins in the past, Denny faced a few setbacks early on in the race and had to fight his way back to the front.
Hamlin received damage after an incident in Stage 1 when a car spun in front of him leaving him with bad tire rub. He raced his way back in to the top-15 before the end of the stage and finished p.11.
The issues did not stop there. The FedEx Toyota had to make unscheduled pit stop under green because of a loose wheel. As he pulled off of pit road, Almirola tagged the wall to bring out the caution, putting Hamlin a lap down.
With a handful of laps to go in Stage 2, the caution flag waved again when Clint Bowyer spun coming out of the turn. Hamlin received the free pass and finished the stage in p.18
The No. 11 FedEx Toyota made his way to the front. He cracked the top ten within 100 laps and began knocking on the doors of the top five.
Denny drove up to second and set his sights on the No.95 of Matt DiBenedetto. As Hamlin inched closer to DiBenedetto, the laps winded down. Lapped traffic slowed the No.95 just enough for Hamlin to make a run for the lead. With 12 laps to go, Denny Hamlin took the lead and never looked back.
Hamlin took the checkered flag for the fourth time this season.
“It’s on a roll like I’ve never seen before. It hasn’t been this good in a long time,” Hamlin said.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back in action on Sunday, September 1 at 6 PM for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN.
Busch Sweeps at Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn.— For the second time in his career, Kyle Busch will sweep the August race weekend Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Man, it’s just great to have a guy like that. This M&M’s Caramel Camry was awesome tonight. Adam Stevens and these guys they never quit working on it. Every single pit stop we kept working on it, kept adjusting on it, so I can’t say enough about his Toyota Camry, everybody at TRD – want to thank Interstate Batteries, NOS Energy Drink, Cessna, DVX Sunglasses and of course the fans,” said Busch. “This is for Rowdy Nation. Rowdy Nation’s really what fuels us to get ‘em out, to get around and get along and all the noise is good noise, that’s how I feel about it. These M&M’s Caramels are going to be celebrating tonight.”
This is Ky. Busch’s second victory of 2017. This is his 14th top-10 finish of the season. This is his sixth career victory at Bristol.
After running up front all night and a late race charge to battle Ky. Busch, Erik Jones finished second.
“It’s a bummer, I mean you can’t lie. I thought we had a really good day and we fought hard all day. We had our ups and downs and led a lot of laps and didn’t have quite enough at the end,” said Jones. “Kyle (Busch) is really good here. But we had a good 5-Hour Energy Camry. Just needed a little more at the end. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t have it. I did what I could, but it just wasn’t quite enough.”
Being the silent contender most of the night in a satisfying yet disappoint finish, Denny Hamlin finished third.
“Half and half. Definitely with the track position, we definitely could have held those guys off. We caught them a little bit in that last run, but I restarted on the bottom so many times that it’s one of those weekends where I would love that cone rule where you can pick what lane you want to go in on restarts. I’d be willing to start 12th on the outside versus third on the inside. It’s just I got killed on restarts all day, but we did a really good job of bouncing back and good finish,” said Hamlin.
Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10.
There were 21 lead changes six different drivers. Jones led the most laps at 260. The caution flag flew eight times for 53 laps. The average speed of the race was 95.970 mph. Ky. Busch and Kenseth won the first two stages. The time of race was two hours, 46 minutes, and 37 seconds.
Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is an off weekend before the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR at Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles Southern 500.
Hamlin Explains Eldora Infrastructure Comments From Wednesday
INDIANAPOLIS— As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finished the Fifth Annual Eldora Dirt Derby from Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, there were many claims that the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series should look at special events like the Trucks have at Eldora.
For Denny Hamlin, the question pops out of whether or not the infrastructure is there to compete at tracks like Eldora. When it comes to infrastructure, Hamlin is talking about the garage area, amenities at the track for sponsors, and the amount of equipment the traveling circus brings to each event.
Hamlin would love to see the Cup series return to places like North Wilkesboro and Rockingham, but sees it as not feasible for today’s NASCAR.
“I think the truck series carries one certain amount of circus to it. With the Cup series, it is times 10. It would be tough as much as the Cup series has grown to bring that traveling circus to short track somewhere to be able to put on a show that makes sense, organized,” said Hamlin. “Does Eldora have timing and scoring loops or not? Probably not. When it gets down the nitty gritty of the Cup races and we are arguing who is leading at the line at this point or that point. How does that work with a track that doesn’t have scoring loops. I know Wilkesboro doesnt’t. That’s what I mean by infrastructure.”
When it comes to amenities, Hamlin looks at what each track can bring to a sponsor and ultimately the fans.
“Its tough to get these sponsors to come to these race tracks unless the amenities are about here (Indianapolis) or Daytona. You wanna have really nice everything. It seems like some of those old tracks got phased out because they were antiquated,” said Hamlin.
Hamlin commends tracks like Phoenix Raceway and Richmond Raceway for upgrading their facilities to be the best for fans and sponsors.
“I like to see the new updates to tracks like Richmond. That’s state of the art. It’s going to bring a lot of new eyes and hopefully sponsors to those type race tracks,” said Hamlin.
Logano Scores First 2017 Victory in Crazy Richmond Race
After gaining the lead when teammate Brad Keslowski was fending off Kyle Busch and moving through the field with fresh tires on the final restart, Joey Logano will win the Toyota Owners 400 from RIchmond International Raceway under hot and slick conditions for his first win of 2017. Logano had to start at the back of the field due to changing a transmission on Saturday.
“I knew the 2 was so much faster than everybody and I had to get out there as quick and as far as I could. He was on his way to catch me. I think he was catching me a couple tenths a lap. That was all I had inside the car and I burned them up early trying to go,” said Logano post-race. “I am proud of the effort of the team. We executed under pressure today and brought a car home that was a 5th-10th place car home to victory lane.”
This is Logano’s 18th career win coming on his 300th start. Ford has won four of the first nine race of 2017. This is Logano's second victory at Richmond.
Keselowski finished second after the best long run car throughout the day. Keselowski ran up front for most of the race leading 110 laps. Despite having one of the cars to beat, Keselowski was upset after the race despite a second place finish.
“It was just hoping for another restart or the race to get extended for another 10 laps. I think we had a ton of long run speed today. That short run at the end...half the field came, half the field didn’t. I just got stuck in a lane of cars that didn’t go,” said Keselowski post-race. “By the time I did, he had a whole straightaway on me. I got it down to a couple of car lengths at the end. All and all I’m happy for Team Penske withe 1-2 finish. We’ll take it and move on.”
Denny Hamlin finished quietly in third after leading 59 laps during the race. Hamlin played a two-tire strategy in the second stage to give him the track position beginning on lap 211. According to the TV pit stop times, Hamlin’s pit crew was doing 10 to 11 second stops. However, NASCAR found a missing lug nut on the right rear tire post-race.
“We were competitive and our car drove really good. We were just missing some of the speed from the 2 (Brad Keselowski) and the 22 (Joey Logano) – they run a little more sideways than what we run and just they have more grip. I think we optimized our day for the most part and that’s about as good as we could do.”
Commitment line violations changed the complexion of the race, especially for Kyle Busch. When he leaders hit the pit lane after the final caution of the race, Busch was nabbed for violating the commitment line by not having all four tires below the line. NASCAR warned drivers in the driver’s meeting pre-race and over the radio before the green flag fell. Busch was unable to see the box due to the fact that Logano cut down to the pit lane at the last moment.
Busch declined full comment after the race about the incident, but told FOX. “Balls and strikes.” Busch walked away briskly without answering anymore questions. Busch finished the race in the 16th position despite running up front all race. Busch was one of six drivers busted for violating the commitment line.
There were 18 lead changes amongst eight different drivers. The caution flew nine times for 53 laps. The time of race was three hours, 14 minutes, and 34 seconds
Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the GIECO 500 from Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Coverage from Talladega will be on FOX and Motor Racing Network beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST.