58th DAYTONA 500: Denny Hamlin charged from fourth to first on the final lap of Sunday’s Daytona 500, passing teammate Matt Kenseth for the lead and then surviving a dramatic side-by-side duel down the stretch with Martin Truex Junior that ended with Hamlin scratching out the victory by a mere one one-hundredths of a second.
It’s the closest finish in the fifty-eight-year history of the Daytona 500. After taking the white flag, race leader Kenseth went to the high side to block a fast-closing Hamlin and when he did, the Number-11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota darted into the middle lane and into the lead. Truex briefly got a nose in front before Hamlin then inched ahead to win by an estimated four inches.
Kyle Busch finished third and Carl Edwards was fifth, giving Joe Gibbs Racing three of the top five finishing positions. Kevin Harvick rode home in fourth place. After losing the lead to Hamlin on the final lap, Kenseth slipped back in the field and finished fourteenth … Pole sitter Chase Elliott suffered damage to his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in an early-race spin and lost a number of laps while repairs were made. He finished thirty-seventh … Fans can connect with Denny Hamlin by calling Motor Racing Network’s “NASCAR Live” at a special time Monday afternoon.
The winner of “The Great American Race” will join Eli Gold at 4:25 p.m. (ET) TODAY. Fans can participate by calling 1-800-2NASCAR … 262-7227 … They can also connect via Twitter by using hash-tag ask-MRN or by sending questions to the “NASCAR Live” link at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hamlin’s segment will air during Tuesday night’s broadcast of “NASCAR Live.”