Multi-Car Wreck Relegates Hamlin to 38th-Place FinishJuly 8, 2018
Denny Hamlin was collected in a multi-car wreck early in the second Stage of Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, forcing the #11 FedEx Cares Toyota to an early retirement from the 160-lap event and a 38th-place finish.
Hamlin lined up 11th to begin Stage 2, quickly making his way to 10th before the first caution of the segment waved with only three green-flag laps complete. Just as the field returned to green-flag racing, second-place contender Brad Keswelowski went spinning, igniting a huge multi-car car wreck that collected Hamlin. The #11 FedEx Cares Toyota sustained extensive damage and was unable return to track to finish the event eventually won by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones.
Once cars get sideways on the backstretch, everyone just battles to try to get through the wreck,” said Hamlin, following the incident. “With so many strong contenders out of the race early on, it’ll definitely be an interesting battle to the finish, and it’s unfortunate for our #11 FedEx Cares, Team Rubicon Camry that we’re not going to be a part of it.”
Hamlin started the 400-mile event from 17th, fluctuating throughout the 40-car field as competitors jockeyed to find their preferred position in the draft. He eventually propelled himself to the front, crossing the start-finish line 12th as the first 40-lap Stage concluded.
Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones held off a hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. to score his first Cup Series career win, with AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher rounding out the top five.
The finish dropped Hamlin one spot to ninth in the overall standings following Daytona. The Series returns to action next Saturday, July 14 at Kentucky Speedway.