RPW Exclusive: The Daytona 500; A Great Day For Denny Hamlin & The JGR Family

Column By: JESSY MILLER / RPW – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – February 17th, 2019 was the 61st annual Daytona 500. With two young guns on the front row (William Byron on the pole and Alex Bowman in 2nd) it was sure to be an exciting race. The 500 completely sold out grandstand tickets

The green flag dropped and the race was off to a good start, Byron held the lead for a while and shared it with others like Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt Dibenedetto.The first wreck was for Cory LaJoie and his face- literally.

The next caution was right before the end of stage one , for Bubba Wallace, Jamie McMurray, Daniel Hemric, Kurt Busch and Stenhouse.

Kyle Busch won stage one. The drivers went for a while before the next caution came this time for Casey Mears and Parker Kligerman. Ryan Blaney took stage two not long after and it was time for the final, and longest, leg of the race.

The following caution was… a little bit different. Several cars went spinning on pit road.

The next caution as uneventful as it was just for debris, alibi a large piece of sheet metal. Then Kyle Larson was into the wall pulling another yellow flag. The next yellow was for Keselowski when he got a flat.

When the big one finally made it’s appearance with ten to go, eighteen cars were involved, many heading for the garage.

The next caution was for Stenhouse, Larson and Kevin Harvick.

The final caution was for this kerfuffle for Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell pulling out another red flag.

Many jokes were being made during the cautions and nascarcasm was of course, involved.

During the red flag the fans began to do the wave in the grandstands.

The race went green for a final time and it was Denny Hamlin who sailed to Victory Lane, an emotional evening to the Joe Gibbs Racing fold. Last month Joe Gibbs’ oldest son JD Gibbs passed away, and Hamlin dedicated the win to him saying it was JD who recruited him.