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Toyota & Denny Hamlin Win Daytona 500

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Denny Hamlin wins 2019 Daytona 500
Photo: Toyota

To win the Daytona 500 is arguably one of the most coveted achievements in NASCAR, and now Denny Hamlin has managed the feat twice at the wheel of his trusty Toyota Camry. He’s just one of 12 drivers to have done so.

Hamlin had been duking it out with fellow Camry drivers for the better part of the race but managed to take the lead with a late restart.

He crossed the line during a second overtime period with Kyle Busch and Erik Jones hot on his tail to make it a 1-2-3 finish for Toyota, though they would all likely count themselves lucky not to have been involved in the massive 18-car crash that took place just nine laps before the end.

It could have looked a lot different, as Matt DiBenedetoo, driving for the new Toyota team Leavine Family Racing, had been in the lead for a race-high 49 laps before getting involved in the accident, which dropped him down to 28th.

Toyota Camry: What makes it so good?

This marked the sixth 1-2-3 finish for Camry drivers since 2007, and it only added to the success the automaker enjoyed the day before. On Saturday, the Supra had made its long-awaited return to the race track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Though the Supra did not win, it put on a good show. Jeffrey Earnhardt led 29 laps in his Supra, and Brandon Jones was third when he drove his past the checkered flag.

“The Supra was awesome,” Jones said. “It looks great, it drives great. I’m really, really happy to be a part of Toyota and to drive the Supra. I think that it’s going to have a lot of success here in 2019. I’m’ looking forward to seeing what it really does at a mile-and-a-half track.”

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