Hamlin falls just short of his third straight Daytona 500 win

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1st, Michael McDowell*

2nd, Chase Elliott*

3rd, Austin Dillon*

4th, Kevin Harvick*






*non-Toyota driver 


DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 5th

Can you take us through that final lap and your race as a whole?

“I didn’t see (what happened at the end), I was too far back. We didn’t execute too good on pit road. It was just like the 125 (Duel race). We came out in front of everybody, and didn’t have any help to get up to speed. They all blew by us because they were single file, so it just took away the power that I got and that’s getting through traffic. The fact we came back to fifth there from 12th on the last couple of laps is pretty good. Dominant car.”

What exactly happened on that final pit stop to get you shuffled?

“We were too far out front. We got on-and-off pit road too good. I was just too far ahead of the pack. I figured the Chevys would make a move from two or three to go, because they are not going to win on the last lap from fifth or sixth. I was able to gain some positions. I think I was 12th and everybody was running single file, so it handcuffed me. I couldn’t really do anything. I hoped once I got to eighth as long as they make a move with two to go, I’m in the energy – in the area where I can make something happen. Dominant car, just a dominant car. Just one of those things that execute too good.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 14th

What happened at the end of the race with the accident?

“I had a run down the backstretch and everybody was kind of checking up in the middle so I went high to go around the outside.  I figured guys would kind of blend back to the high side and the 2 (Brad Keselowski) car just landed on my hood. Came out of nowhere. Unfortunately  got caught up in the wreck and banged up pretty good. Took a couple good licks, but just a matter of plate racing I guess. For as far back as we were and what was happening, I don’t  think we would have won. I think we probably would have been maybe fourth or fifth so that’s about all we were going to get anyways. Just unfortunate day for the M&M’s Camry.  Hate it for my guys. It seemed like every time the points were being paid, we stumbled. First stage we went from second to outside the top-10 and then the second stage, we went from third to ninth. Then there at the end obviously, I felt like we had a top-five and finished 14th looking at the board there. Just a dismal day at Daytona, as usual.”

How do you describe the chaos of that last lap?

“Just that. It’s to be expected. It was just a matter of time before it all breaks loose and whatever happens, happens. I saw a window to the outside and all of a sudden I had the 2 (Brad Keselowski) on my hood. I don’t know. I felt like those guys were going to get bogged down on the bottom so I was trying to shoot for the top and get a run on the outside of them. That’s typically where everybody was going all night long and hopefully get a run off of (turn) four. I was just trying to shoot for a top-five. We were too far back to make aanything happen for a win. We got clobbered there a few times obviously, and just fortunate that I’m all good. Our M&M’s Camry – that one won’t live on for another day, but hopefully we will be back here next week and have a better go round on the road course and get back after it.”

Toyota Racing PR

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