This weekend in Daytona was a memorable one, to say the least, from devastating crashes to a photo finishes.
In the rain-delayed event, the Daytona 500 was one of the longest in history (209 laps, 522.5 miles). The part of the race that is still on everyone's mind is, of course, Ryan Newman's crash, Newman's car spun out and landed upside down and proceeded to slide on its roof creating a large trail of sparks. Hamlin had no idea of Newman's crash and had a photo finish narrowly edging out Ryan Blaney snatching the checkered flag.
"Yeah, I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are," was Hamlin’s first thought after climbing from his car. "But number one, we're praying for Ryan. Worked really well with Ryan through this whole race, and obviously he got turned right there.
"Proud of our whole FedEx team. I don't even know what to say. It's so unexpected. I mean, I knew they (Blaney and Newman) were going to come with a big run there. My job was to just make sure I didn't put a block that was going to wreck me, live to race another corner.
"We got to (Blaney’s) bumper, got to pushing him there, and I knew I was going to give him a big run, and it was going to… the race wasn't over, and obviously, it worked out well for us at the end there."
NASCAR Cup Series Race - 62nd Annual DAYTONA 500
For the Xfinity series, it was Noah Gragson taking home the win an impressive feat considering he recovered from an early pit-road speeding penalty to take control of the race. When a wreck on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway ended Saturday’s NASCAR Racing Experience 300, Gragson was in the lead, and when the driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet crossed the finish line under caution, he claimed his long-awaited first victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
(21) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 209.
(27) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 209.
(19) Chris Buescher, Ford, 209.
(30) David Ragan, Ford, 209.
(10) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 209.
(29) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 209.
(39) Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, 209.
(36) Corey LaJoie, Ford, 209.
(7) Ryan Newman, Ford, 209.
(8) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 209.
(23) John Hunter Nemechek #, Ford, 209.
(13) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 209.
(33) Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, 209.
(26) Michael McDowell, Ford, 209.
(11) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 209.
(34) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, 209.
(25) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 209.
(14) Erik Jones, Toyota, 208.
(16) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 207.
(1) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 206.
(17) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, Accident, 205.
(5) Aric Almirola, Ford, 205.
(37) Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 203.
(2) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 203.
(20) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 201.
(3) Joey Logano, Ford, Accident, 200.
(32) Timmy Hill(i), Ford, Accident, 200.
(22) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, Accident, 199.
(31) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, Accident, 198.
(24) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 198.
(40) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, Accident, 192.
(15) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 186.
(18) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Accident, 184.
(28) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Engine, 184.
(6) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 184.
(9) Brad Keselowski, Ford, Accident, 183.
(12) Cole Custer #, Ford, Rear End, 174.
(38) BJ McLeod(i), Ford, Accident, 105.
(35) Quin Houff #, Chevrolet, Accident, 89.
(4) William Byron, Chevrolet, Accident, 58.
"We were wide open all day and managed to control the group behind us really well," said Gragson, who climbed the frontstretch fence to celebrate his maiden win. "My spotter, Earl Barban, did a great job. He led me to this victory. Very, very thankful to everybody at JR Motorsports, (engine supplier) Hendrick Motorsports for the great power and building this new chassis. Without everybody like that, it just wouldn’t be possible.
"Just trying to stay focused, stay positive when we threw it away on that speeding penalty after that first stage. But I’m so, so proud to be on this team. We stayed till 9:30 the night before we came down here working on the hauler. The team chemistry is better than it’s ever been. And I’m ready to go and do this deal some more."
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race - 39th Annual NASCAR Racing Experience 300
The NASCAR Truck race was a close one! Grant Enfinger held off charging Jordan Anderson on the final lap of overtime Friday night at Daytona International Speedway to win the NextEra Energy 250 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race by .010 seconds.
(12) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 120.
(8) Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 120.
(26) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 120.
(6) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 120.
(10) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 120.
(3) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 120.
(11) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 120.
(16) Ray Black II, Chevrolet, 120.
(9) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 120.
(19) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 120.
(2) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Accident, 119.
(34) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 119.
(22) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 119.
(25) Vinnie Miller, Toyota, 119.
(36) Joe Nemechek(i), Chevrolet, 119.
(35) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, 119.
(20) Robby Lyons II, Chevrolet, 119.
(31) David Starr, Chevrolet, 119.
(18) Jesse Little #, Chevrolet, Accident, 118.
(33) Chad Finchum, Toyota, 118.
(32) Josh Bilicki, Toyota, 117.
(23) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 115.
(4) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, Accident, 114.
(24) Brett Moffitt(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 114.
(15) Austin Cindric, Ford, Accident, 113.
(17) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, Accident, 113.
(21) CJ McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 113.
(29) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 113.
(14) Caesar Bacarella, Chevrolet, Accident, 112.
(13) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, Accident, 107.
(30) Matt Mills, Toyota, Electrical, 101.
(7) Riley Herbst #, Toyota, Accident, 59.
(1) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, Accident, 59.
(27) Chris Cockrum, Chevrolet, Accident, 59.
(28) Austin Hill(i), Toyota, Accident, 37.
(5) Joe Graf Jr #, Chevrolet, Accident, 37.
"It’s an unbelievable feeling," said Enfinger, who broke a 28-race winless streak in the series. "It’s the 100th win for Ford in the series–unbelievable for them. God’s blessed us with a great opportunity to come out here and pull it off tonight.
"The biggest thing is we had a really good F-150 to do it with. I made a mistake there with about 20 to go and got hung up there in the sucker hole. I pulled up in front of Ben (Rhodes) too late, and it was either going to wreck me or put me in the middle, and that’s what happened.
"It got to be about four or five laps to go, and it was time to go. We were able to get up in the third groove and make some stuff happen and get the lead during that last big wreck."
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Race - 21st Annual NextEra Energy 250
(11) Grant Enfinger, Ford, 106.
(23) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 106.
(21) Codie Rohrbaugh, Chevrolet, 106.
(16) Derek Kraus #, Toyota, 106.
(30) Natalie Decker, Chevrolet, 106.
(15) Austin Hill, Toyota, 106.
(5) Johnny Sauter, Ford, 106.
(4) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 106.
(12) Sheldon Creed, Chevrolet, 106.
(31) Jason White, Chevrolet, 106.
(6) Zane Smith #, Chevrolet, 106.
(1) Riley Herbst(i), Toyota, 106.
(2) Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 106.
(19) Cory Roper, Ford, 106.
(10) Matt Crafton, Ford, 106.
(25) Todd Gilliland, Ford, 106.
(27) Brennan Poole(i), Toyota, 106.
(9) Korbin Forrister, Toyota, 106.
(29) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 105.
(8) Raphael Lessard #, Toyota, 105.
(28) Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 105.
(3) Christian Eckes #, Toyota, 105.
(14) Tanner Gray #, Ford, Accident, 98.
(26) Jesse Little(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 98.
(13) Ben Rhodes, Ford, Accident, 97.
(20) Gus Dean, Chevrolet, Accident, 97.
(7) Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, Accident, 97.
(32) Angela Ruch, Chevrolet, Accident, 65.
(22) Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, Accident, 65.
(18) Tate Fogleman #, Chevrolet, Accident, 62.
(24) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, Accident, 15.
(17) Ty Majeski #, Chevrolet, Accident, 15.
Due to challenges resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR will adjust two race weekends immediately following the 63
rd running of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14. Obviously the pandemic has made planning and pre planning vital for races to go off without a hitch so NASCAR is hoping these schedule changes give them the best chance to get rolling. All three NASCAR national series will now remain in Daytona to run a tripleheader at the storied road course Feb. 19-21 before the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series head down to Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 27-28.
The NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races on the Daytona road course will replace the events originally scheduled to take place at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 27-28. The Camping World Truck Series race is realigned from the event originally scheduled to take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, Feb. 19.
After consecutive race weekends in Daytona, the Cup and Xfinity Series will make the trek to Homestead-Miami Speedway one week later than originally scheduled, rounding out the Florida swing Feb. 27-28.
Following the events at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will all head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway as originally planned March 5-7.
FOX Sports platforms will carry coverage of all aforementioned race weekends, including annual coverage of the DAYTONA 500 on FOX. A complete schedule of start times and networks for all three series will be announced soon.