Saturday, February 13, 2016

Denny Hamlin Wins Sprint Unlimited

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

 Denny Hamlin won the Sprint Unlimited from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night.
Photo courtesy Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Hamlin won the race after running up front with a dominant car over the final half of the race.  He held off Joey Logano and Paul Menard in the closing laps before a wreck on the final lap caused the race to end under caution.  Hamlin said he anticipated Menard’s move and was able to hold him off.

“I had it in my mind what [Menard] was going to do,” Hamlin said.  “When they’re closing that fast, you almost have to anticipate where they’re going to go, or else you’re going to get wrecked.”

The Sprint Unlimited was the first race for Hamlin with new crew chief Mike Wheeler.  Hamlin said his victory was a team effort.

“We have such a young team of crew chiefs and engineers, they all look like they’re a bunch of…high school kids,” Hamlin said.  “We win as one, and this is a Joe Gibbs Racing win.”

The 75-lap race officially kicked off the Sprint Cup season and Daytona Speedweeks, which will continue with Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday afternoon.

Unofficial results:
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Joey Logano
3. Paul Menard
4. Kyle Larson
5. Casey Mears
6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
7. Kurt Busch
8. Austin Dillon
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Greg Biffle
11. Danica Patrick
12. Matt Kenseth
13. Martin Truex Jr.
14. Jamie McMurray
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
16. Carl Edwards
17. Kyle Busch
18. Aric Almirola
19. Ryan Newman
20. Kasey Kahne
21. AJ Allmendinger
22. Jimmie Johnson
23. Clint Bowyer
24. Brian Vickers
25. Kevin Harvick

Photo courtesy Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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