Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2019. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Denny Hamlin has won his second Daytona 500 in four years, taking the checkered flag for Joe Gibbs Racing a month after Joe Gibbs’ oldest son died following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs was 49.
Hamlin moved out front after a final restart and had teammate Kyle Busch blocking in the final lap. Busch finished second, followed by another JGR teammate, Erik Jones. Defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano was fourth.
Joe Gibbs says “what happened here is really unreal.”
Joe Gibbs Racing and Fox Sports paid tribute to J.D. Gibbs early in the race. The team and the television network recognized Gibbs during the 11th lap of the Daytona 500.
Gibbs’ favorite number was 11, the car number Hamlin has driven for the team since 2005.