Denny Hamlin Dedicates Daytona 500 Victory to Emotional Joe Gibbs

Brian Lawdermilk  Getty

Brian Lawdermilk Getty

After his win, Hamlin proclaimed "This one's for J.D". His number. His signature above my door.

Denny Hamlin: Yes, his Daytona 500 win was big - but how will he do in the other 35 races on the schedule? Kyle Busch makes a pit stop during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla. "The Big One" happened with 10 laps to go and took out a majority of the front pack. The team and the television network recognized Gibbs during the 11th lap of the race. "And it was the most important night of my occupational life". "I'm just thrilled. I think J.D. had the best view of everything", he added.

Joe Gibbs Racing and Fox Sports paid tribute to Gibbs early in the race.

Hamlin drove to victory lane on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.

J.D. Gibbs, who died tragically last month at age 49, was not almost the driver Hamlin would become.

It was J.D. that discovered Hamlin's racing abilities and signed him to the team. "So it tells you I get in the wrong end of everything".

Tickets for Friday's qualifying runs cost just $10 for adults and are free for kids ages 12 and under.

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JGR notched the first 1-2-3 sweep in the Daytona 500 since Hendrick Motorsports accomplished the feat in 1997.

"I don't believe that just happened", Joe Gibbs said. "I don't know how it would have played out". Busch did some blocking that allowed Hamlin to pull away and hold off Joey Logano's late challenge.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Kyle Busch felt like an amiable teammate, willing to do whatever it took to get Joe Gibbs Racing to victory lane at the Daytona 500.

"The Great American Race" erupted in flames on Sunday after a driver triggered a 21-car pileup on the Daytona International Speedway. J.D. found his calling after playing college football at William & Mary and a short career as a driver. "As bad as I want to win it, it is pretty cool to think that the first race after his passing, to see those guys one, two, three, it just says he's up there watching and maybe gave [those] guys a little extra boost there at the end".

Hamlin, a Tampa, Fla., native who grew up near Richmond, Va., said he spent his first paycheck on rims for auto tires and a plasma TV.

Denny Hamlin made his full-time NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2006. This one, he said, he will enjoy.

"When he gave me the top, I literally was doing a little cheer in my mind", Hamlin said. "I'm going to have a awful hangover tomorrow, but I'm going to enjoy it the rest of my life".

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