“The Great American Race” lived up to its name on Sunday, as Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag in the closest finish of the Daytona 500. Hamlin ran down Martin Truex Jr. on the crowded fourth and final turn to treat race fans to a thrilling finish.
Daytona 500 finish [GALLERY]
Hamlin took the checkered flag by 0.010 seconds to win the Daytona 500 for the first time.
“This is a great moment for me, but I feel awful for Matt [Kenseth] because he’s such a great friend, such a great teammate,” Hamlin said. “I’m just so proud of all my other teammates for us being so committed to each other for 500 miles. That was very rare that you see the selflessness that you saw, even with two laps to go. All of us were committed to pushing (Kenseth) to a victory.
“I saw (Harvick) coming. I said, ‘If I didn’t make a run, he was going to make a run just like I did.’ I went up there to block, he hit me so hard it shot me three cars forward. It’s crazy, it happened so fast.”