2020 Daytona 500; Denny Hamlin Triumphs!
Denny Hamlin wins the 2020 Daytona 500 in a photo finish over Ryan Blaney. Denny won the race by 14-hundredths of a second, the closest winning margin in the history of Daytona. He becomes only the second consecutive champion since Sterling Marlin in 1994 and 1995.
We were reminded of how dangerous the sport can be after Ryan Newman was involved in a serious accident. On the last lap of the 209 lap race, saw Hamlin and Newman battle for the top spot when Blaney thrust Newman past Hamlin’s car. Newman momentarily took the lead but locked bumpers with Blaney sending Newman airborne and to the wall, flipping on the track multiple times. “He’s in serious condition but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life-threatening. ” Read a statement from Newman’s racing team.
Newman who is a former Daytona 500 winner is well respected. He has won 18 races in over 20 years including the 2008 Daytona 500. He was also Daytona’s rookie of the year in 2002.
2020 Daytona 500 was graced by the commander in chief, something that has not happened in many years. POTUS, accompanied by the First Lady, gave a brief speech in victory lane and then proceeded to give the command for 2020 Daytona 500 to start. He becomes the second-ever president to give the Great American Race’s trademark command, “Gentlemen, start your engines!”
President Trump was honored as the race’s grand marshal and he gave an address to the 100,000 audiences at the Daytona International Speedway calling the race “pure American glory”. Trump and Melania proceeded to take a lap around the speedway something that has never happened before. They led a pack of 40 racers inside their 22,000 pound Cadillac behemoth popularly known as “The Beast”.
Hall of Fame
This was Hamlin’s third victory in five years and fourth for Joe Gibb’s Racing team and puts him at par with Hall of Fame drivers. He is now the sixth driver to have three Daytona 500 wins the others being: Richard Petty (7), Cale Yarborough (4), Bobby Allison, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Jarret (3). Hamlin’s win last year was a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing. It kicked off a yearlong company celebration in which Gibbs drivers won a record 19 races and the Cup championship.