Denny Hamlin Wins 2019 Daytona 500, Becoming A Repeat Winner

Denny Hamlin won his second Daytona 500 on Sunday under NASCAR Overtime. Hamlin was on the front row during the many restarts during the final stage. Kyle Busch, who won second place in the race, won stage 1, while Ryan Blaney won stage 2.

This was the first race since motorsport team owner JD Gibbs passed away. When asked about the win, Hamlin said that “this one’s for JD. We’re desperately gonna miss him for the rest of our lives but his legacy lives on.”

The front row for the race was William Byron and Alex Bowman. Denny Hamlin started 10th, climbing his way up the grid throughout the race. The race was mostly clean until the final stage which had numerous incidents involving more than 10 cars. The race was red flagged twice.

Jimmie Johnson was put a lap down after an incident where car 51 and 52 collided, making them spin and hit cars who were heading to the pits. Those cars included the aforementioned Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse and Tyler Reddick.

On lap 191 there was a crash involving Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Daniel Hemric, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Paul Menard, Tyler Reddick, Matt Tifft, Chris Buescher, David Ragan, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and Matt DiBenedetto.

The caution with two laps to go happened after Clint Bowyer tried moving up a row but got back in line too early, making the back of his car clip Michael McDowell. They spun and collected many more with them, including William Byron, the pole sitter of the race. Out of the whole grid, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were the only ones who finished the race without being involved in an incident.

NASCAR heads to Atlanta next week for the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500. The race will take place on Sunday at 2PM Eastern Time.

Michael Annett Wins NASCAR Racing Experience 300

Michael Annett won the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 on Saturday, leading the most laps out of anyone in the race. Justin Haley snagged stage 1, and Ross Chastain took stage 2.

The front row at the start of the race was Tyler Reddick and Jeffery Earnhardt, but due to a penalty, Reddick started at the back of the grid, giving Michael Annett the second spot in the front row. Annett stayed up ahead but didn’t find himself in the lead until on a restart with 37 laps left. A large portion of the race happened in a single file on the outside line, similar to the duel races earlier in the week.

In the final lap, Justin Allgaier pushed for second place but was blocked by Micahel Annett. He said afterwards that it was the plan to push on the last lap because of the pace that they were going at.

The race had a low number of cautions, with two besides the cautions after stage one and two. This was a polar opposite to the year before that had five overtimes and a three hour race time in total. Second place finisher Justin Allgaier said “I wish I had a good answer,” about why this year what so different from the previous.

One of the cautions was due to debris from Brad Keselowski’s car, which had its escape roof fly off during the race. He battled with the safety precaution, pitting many times and then eventually retiring from the race.

The race was the in-race debut for the Toyota Supra model. “I couldn’t tell that I was driving a different style of car,” said Brandon Jones, who also complimented the car’s look on the track.

Today is the eve of the Daytona 500, with drivers from the Xfinity race, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott making up part of the grid tomorrow. NASCAR will head to Atlanta next week, with the Xfinity series running the Rinnai 250 on Saturday in a doubleheader with the Gander Outdoors Truck Series holding the Atlanta 200 afterwards.

Austin Hill Wins NextEra Energy Resources 250 In Overtime

Austin Hill won the NextEra Energy Resources 250 after a yellow flag plagued evening at Daytona International Speedway. The win kicks off the season for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, which was known as the Camping World Truck Series the year before. “I knew we had a truck that could compete. Got a little scarce there at the end. (I) Thought that the 98 at the end would get me,” said hill in victory lane. Hill didn’t find himself with much competition by the end of the race as around 10 trucks were still left on the track.

There were numerous incidents that involved more than five drivers, with the biggest two being on lap 54 and 98. The latter of the two pushed the race into NASCAR Overtime, with the race not concluding until second overtime was done. The race had 11 cautions in total. Numerous cars were on fire over the course of the evening. Sheldon Creed and Natalie Decker had to make fast exits of their trucks because of this.

Christian Eckes and David Gilliland started on the front row for the race. Gilliland found himself in the front of the pack for a significant amount of time, eventually dropping back due to a penalty from driving ahead of the pace car when going to pit lane under caution.

Austin Hill was worried at the end that he wouldn’t have enough fuel. “I didn’t have any confidence to be honest with you,” said Hill when reflecting on his emotion during the race about the fuel.

The Gander Outdoors Truck Series will return next week when NASCAR heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR has two more days at Daytona International Speedway, with the Powershares QQQ 300 on Saturday and the famous Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano Win Gander RV Duels

Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano won their duels on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, ahead of the Daytona 500. The two races gave the winners a spot in the second row of the Daytona 500, behind William Byron and Alex Bowman, who earned their spots last Sunday through the qualifying. The races determined the placing of most drivers in the Daytona 500, with the first races giving drivers a spot in the inside lane of the grid, and the second race for the outside lane.

In the first duel, Kevin Harvick held onto his spot after positions shifted during pit stops from laps 11 to 15. The race had a pause in it when Kyle Busch got into an incident with Jimmie Johnson. “It felt like our cars have been driving good in practice and it felt like my car drove good tonight,” said Harvick after the race. Busch spun on the main straight, suffering damage but not hitting any walls. Johnson found himself involved in a similar incident on the last green flag lap on Sunday during the Daytona Clash race.

Joey Logano won his race with a last lap pass, overtaking Bowyer for the lead. Along with his change of lead, Aric Almirola got up to third, making Denny Hamlin go from second to fourth. The race was green throughout, with pitting starting on lap 13, which is when leaders Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott left the head of the field.

Brendan Gaughan confirmed his seat for the Daytona 500 through the second race. “We had to do it the hard way, but like I said I don’t want to do it the hard way again,” said Gaughan when reflecting on the race. Parker Kligerman also solidified his slot in the Daytona 500 because of the first race.

The Daytona 500 takes place on Sunday, with NASCAR’s feeder leagues having their season-opening races on Friday and Saturday.

Jimmie Johnson Wins 2019 Advance Auto Parts Clash Under Red

A week from the Daytona 500, Hendrick Motorsports had an impressive Sunday in Florida. After the team solidified two of their cars on the front row for the race in seven days, veteran driver Jimmie Johnson won the “Advance Auto Parts Clash” exhibition race. The lead came on the final green lap when Johnson collided with race leader Paul Menard, sending him into the pack of cars behind him. A red flag came out on the 58th of scheduled 75 laps due to rain, with the race subsequently ending afterwards.

“(A) Really big day for the 48 team… An epic day across the board,” said Johnson during the post-race press conference. He went on to say that today’s success was “a great sign for the week ahead.” His last Cup Series win came in 2017 at Dover International Speedway, with his highest 2018 placing being third at Bristol Motor Speedway. Johnson is a two time Daytona 500 winner.

The day had numerous run-ins with sporadic weather, with two red flags going out earlier in the race. There were slight amounts of rain visible during the Daytona 500 Qualifying earlier as well.

Paul Menard had a successful outing before finding himself in a wreck on lap 54. He started on pole position, joined by Kyle Busch, who fought in the middle of the pack for most of the race. Most of the field was involved in the collision at the end.

NASCAR will have four days of racing to start on the 15th with their two Clash races. On the following days there will be NextEra Energy 250, the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 and the Daytona 500.