Denny Hamlin wins Daytona 500

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Patrick Canter, Staff Writer

This years Daytona 500 took place last Sunday, February 20th, with victory being both historic and microscopic. Driver Denny Hamlin won it all Sunday by the narrowest margin in Daytona 500 history, just 0.01 seconds ahead of Martin Truex Jr. It was a pretty spectacular finish for Hamlin to say the least, who had fallen behind at the beginning of the race, but in the last lap was able to weave his way to the front of the pack. “I didn’t even know if I had won when I got out of the car.” Hamlin said. “All I knew was that it was the pinnacle of my career.”

Hamlin had no intentions to be celebrating in Victory Lane earlier in the day. He in fact had made plans to be a wing man for Kenseth. Hamlin would be blocking lanes so Kenseth could pass and get ahead. This was the plan they had been putting in action for most of the race up until the end. When the were entering the final laps, Hamlin saw an opening, and took it. He managed to pass Kenseth, Kyle Busch, and, at the last second, Truex.

Shortly after Hamlin’s photo-finish victory, his mother posted a picture of a paper Hamlin had wrote in 2nd grade, with the top line reading, “One day I’m going to win the Daytona 500.” While this victory was a dream come true for Hamlin, it was a stinging loss for Truex. “It hurts a little but there’s a lot to be proud of.” Truex said. “I feel like we did everything right to put us into a position to win.”

Never the less, it was a great victory for Hamlin, who has stated that the championship is next for him. Hamlin also won a healthy cash prize of about $1,507,592, which should hold him over for at least awhile.

It was an exciting finish for this years Daytona 500, and much of the same excitement can be expected from the Championship race that will come later this year. “Who knows,” Hamlin stated, “Maybe I’ll get struck by lightning twice!”