Denny Hamlin Wins Nationwide Series Race at Daytona
The Nationwide Series took to the track at Daytona this 4th of July weekend to kick off the second half of the 2008 season.
Bryan Clauson started from the pole position with Brad Keselowski along side in second spot. Brad Coleman ended up leading the first lap with Clint Bowyer taking the lead a lap later. Bowyer led the race until lap 8 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed him for the lead.
Earnhardt would continue to lead as the first caution flag of the night came out for a spin by Josh Wise on lap 14. All the leaders would come down pit road with Earnhardt holding the lead with a fuel only stop.
Earnhardt did not lead the field down for the restart though as Shane Huffman stayed out under the caution to lead the race. Earnhardt would pass Huffman for the lead shortly after taking the restart.
Earnhardt would lead a handful of laps before being passed by Carl Edwards on lap 22 for the lead. Edwards would be the leader of the race when the secondcaution flag waved on lap 31 for fluid on the track. The leaders would all come to pit road with Keselowski winning the race off pit road with the help of a two-tire pit stop.
Keselowski would lead a good portion of the race until Denny Hamlin passed him for the lead on lap 62. Hamlin would lead a few laps before being passed by Earnhardt Jr. once again on lap 67. Earnhardt’s lead would not last long though as Hamlin passed him right back on lap 72.
Hamlin would lead the race until green flag pit stops started to take place around lap 75. After the round of pit stops had cycled through, Edwards was back at the head of the field with 20 laps remaining. The lead would then be swapped between Edwards, Hamlin, and Busch for the remaining laps.
Hamlin looked to be well on his way to a victory before a caution flag came out with just two laps to go for a crash by Colin Braun on the backstretch. This would bunch up the field for the final restart setting up a two-lap shootout to decide the winner.
Hamlin proved to be too much for the field as he held the lead for the final two laps on his way to victory. This would be the 12th win of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series so far this season.
The top ten finishers were Hamlin, Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Bowyer, Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Scott Wimmer, David Stremme, David Ragan, and Mike Bliss. Some notable finishes include Edwards in 11th, Kevin Harvick in 12th, David Reutimann in 14th, Kerry Earnhardt in 17th, and Mike Wallace in 22nd position.
The top ten in the point standings are Bowyer, Keselowski, Edwards, Reutimann, Ragan, Bliss, Busch, Mike Wallace, Stremme, and Jason Keller.
Next week the Nationwide Series heads to Chicagoland for the first ever night race.
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