And we have a winner! Congratulations to Denny Hamlin of Toyota for passing the checkered flag in first place and winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series at the Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 21. Good job, Denny!
It was another exciting NASCAR Daytona 500 race, but we can only have one winner. Well done, Denny for winning the prestigious race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL, which kickstarted the Sprint Cup Series. Denny completed an exciting race which saw pole-leader Chase Elliot, 20, crash out early and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s race end with 30 laps to go!
It really was a grueling contest, in which 22 drivers had to complete 200 laps of a track 2.5 miles long in searing temperatures that can’t have been pleasant for the drivers.
The course was left wide open when pole leader Chase crashed out on lap 20 in the difficult 4th turn. He swerved into the grass, ripping his bumper clean off and his race was over! Denny Hamlin, 35, then took the lead on lap 24 after the pit-stop, with Dale Earnhardt Jr., an early leader, dropping all the way to 8th.
Jimmie Johnson began to assert his dominance on the race from lap 64, and soon took the lead himself, with Kyle Busch in second spot fighting for position with Matt Kenseth. But his lead was short-lived, and it was Kyle that took over in front.
In Lap 96, nearly halfway through the big accident of the day occurred between Chris Buescher and Matthew DiBenedetto, who got a bit loose on a turn and crashed into Chris and ended both their days in spectacular fashion. The wrecks of the cars afterwards were a real sight!
Crowd and race favorite Dale crashed out at lap 170, with 30 laps after gathering up the pace for a late challenge. He was in 5th spot when his race ended, but his aggressive driving meant he spun out onto the grass — just like Chase.
In an exciting finish, possibly the closest 500 ever, it was Denny that won by inches, a nose from Martin Truex. Jr. It was a deserved win considering he held the lead during the race more than anyone else did.
The Daytona 500 is regarded my most as the biggest race on the NASCAR calendar. In fact, championship points are equal to that of any other Sprint Cup race. It’s also the first race of the year, which is strange considering most sports have their championships or finals at the end, not the beginning. Still, it always sets up the NASCAR season nicely.
In terms of motor-racing in the US, the Daytona 500 is the biggest TV draw. Since 1995 it has regularly beaten the Indy 500 in the ratings. In 2006, the race attracted an incredible 20 million viewers, making it the sixth largest sporting event broadcast around the world that year.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Denny deserved to win the NASCAR Daytona 500? Did the race excite you? Share your thoughts with us below!