Denny Hamlin edged Martin Truex Jr. in a photo finish on Sunday to win his first career Daytona 500. Hamlin won by 0.010 seconds, marking the closest Daytona 500 finish since 1993, when NASCAR introduced electronic scoring. The win is Hamlin’s seventh at Daytona in all races; he also won the 2016 Sprint Unlimited. He has now won four times at Daytona over the past three seasons. He became the first driver to win the Sprint Unlimited and Daytona 500 in the same season since Dale Jarrett did so in 2000.
Hamlin led 95 laps, the most by a Daytona 500 winner since Dale Earnhardt led 107 in 1998 en route to his only Daytona 500 win. However, Matt Kenseth was in the lead on the final lap, and was passed by both Hamlin and Truex Jr. to set up the finish. Hamlin is the 10th driver to win the Daytona 500 with a last-lap pass, and the first since Ryan Newman in 2008.
This is the second Daytona 500 win for Joe Gibbs Racing. The other win was by Dale Jarrett in 1993, the team’s first Cup Series win. This is the first Daytona 500 win for Toyota (debuted in the sport in 2007)
Other notable finishes
• Kyle Busch finished third, his best career finish in the Daytona 500.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr., involved in a wreck on lap 170, finished 36th. This matches his worst finish in a Daytona 500 (2003).
• Chase Elliott finished 37th, the worst finish by a Daytona 500 pole sitter since Jeff Green finished 39th in 2003.