Hamlin Finishes Sixth in Clash at Daytona
Denny Hamlin finished sixth in Sunday’s Clash at Daytona, avoiding a last-lap multi-car wreck to gain six spots in the final race to the checkered flag of the 75-lap, non-points event.
Hamlin lined up second in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota for the initial green flag and was propelled to an early lead with a helpful nudge from teammate Erik Jones. Hamlin held on to the top spot for eight laps until the inside line gained momentum, shifting him to fifth as the field transitioned into a single-file line.
As the laps ticked, Hamlin was shuffled throughout the pack before he cautiously moved towards the rear of the field late in the feature to avoid a potential melee. He attempted to find a drafting partner, but was unable to gain the momentum to advance and make a run for the lead.
“Our car was definitely a lot better than where we finished,” said Hamlin. “That part is frustrating, but we got out of here learning a lot and with our car in one piece, so I’m looking forward to Thursday (the Duel) and getting ready for the Daytona 500.”
After 13 Clash at Daytona starts, Hamlin has led 142 laps and accumulated seven top-10 finishes.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins their official season next Sunday, February 18, with the 60th running of the Daytona 500 where Hamlin will start on the front row for the “Great American Race.”