Danny Hamlin, Martin Truex, NASCAR, Daytona 500, 2016

Closest-ever finish at Daytona 500

Weekend Racing Wrap

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After 500 miles of racing there was just one-hundredth of a second in it at the end of the closest-ever Daytona 500.

NASCAR

Round 1/36: Daytona 500

Yesterday’s Daytona 500 was a somewhat processional affair until the final lap, which saw the 58th running of the race end in pure drama.

Matt Kenseth, who had led since the final restart, slithered wide, allowing Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex by in a neck-and-neck sprint to the flag. Hamlin pipped his rival to the line by a mere hundredth of a second.

Chase Elliott, who took over the number 24 car of the retired Jeff Gordon, started from pole position but crashed out after just 19 laps. He later rejoined the race 40 laps down.

Over to you

Were you watching the Daytona 500? Did you think it was a great race – or just a great last lap? Let us know in the comments.

Also let us know whether you’ve got any race plans for next weekend, when the the NASCAR series will continue at Atlanta.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “Closest-ever finish at Daytona 500”

    1. I always tend to find a stream and listen to it in the background. I like motorsport in general and can watch almost anything with two or four wheels race. This however is tense indeed but I feel like the entire first 199 laps don’t matter, especially with the many cautions.

    2. The finish was good, the start and middle were OK, so very similar to F1 but in reverse.

    3. Racing at Daytona nowadays is crazy. You need track position, but you’re still running in a pack. It’s a more civil free-for-all.

      Good win for Hamlin, top driver for many years who’s battled multiple injuries and “fourth wheel” syndrome in recent seasons, who’d yet to win a title or this race…check the 500 off the list anyway!

    4. I think they mean the Piston Cup?

    5. the “side drafting” effect is crazy! he won the race being behind several hundred meters from the finish by sticking so close to the car next to him! all at 180mph! this sort of racing deserves respect, they drive so close at incredible speed for several hours, I think it would be maybe more rewarding as a race driver to win an oval race at 300kmh average speed race in pretty much equal machinery then winning an open wheel car circuit race because of having the fastest car.

    6. I’m sorry, but allowing a car to bump the back of another car (so called bump-drafting) and give them a push to win is so absurdly lame that I can never take it seriously.

      1. The same can be said for following the car in front 1-2 seconds back but never making even an attempt to get past them, but Your Mileage May Vary

        1. I agree, it’s just different. Driver code is also different. In single-seaters, you can block, for example, but in NASCAR – on non-plate tracks, at least – you can’t because the driver in behind can simply bump you out of the way without his front aero getting damaged (unlike in an open-wheeler).

          I enjoy both. The fundamentals are the same: drive on the edge of grip as often as possible, especially in wheel-to-wheel combat. NASCAR is even more about that, than F1 since the designed to degrade years.

    7. Regarding the Daytona 500, The finish may have been good but the Nascar ratings decline continued.

      This year’s race had an overnight average of 6.14, Last year’s Daytona 500 scored a 7.7 overnight average. To give an idea of how far they have fallen the past few years, In 2010 that figure was a 10.0.

      The Duels & Sprint Unlimited races held earlier in the week were down 14 & 19% respectively.

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