DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – The final box score for the 60th annual Daytona 500 will read Denny Hamlin with a third place finish and Joey Logano a fourth. It will say the combined to lead 25 laps. But, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Both drivers had to overcome pit road penalties, both at opposite ends of the pit road and of the race too.
Hamlin, led the first 10 laps of the race and hit pit road under the first caution of the race on Lap 11. Unfortunately, he overshot his pit stall in his No. 11 Toyota and had his car serviced outside of his pit box. He’d be held on pit road as a result and lose a lap as part of the penalty. Then, he lost the draft afterwards.
But, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver kept chopping away at his deficit and there he was back in the top five over the final 70 laps. He’d even take the lead on Lap 171 after the final pit sequence, but he had no drafting help. Hamlin, was the only Toyota left up front and had to battle the Fords and Chevrolet’s on his own. He led Lap 194 and then Laps 198-205. Unfortunately, Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace had other thoughts in mind and shuffled him to a third place result. While it’s not what he wanted, it’s better than what it could have been.
For Logano, he was in the hunt all day. He ran tucked in behind his Team Penske teammate of Ryan Blaney for most of the final half of the race. They duo hit pit road together with 29 laps-to-go. Unfortunately, Logano was speeding in section 1. He’d have to pit again and lose a lap in the process. Luckily though, a caution would fly on Lap 189 for a William Byron spin and Logano who was in 14th, got the free pass as the first car a lap down. He’d challenge through the field again from there, but his No. 22 Ford didn’t have enough time.
He finishes Speedweeks with finishes of second, second and fourth respectively.