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Hamlin Stays Undefeated as Wild Wreck Wraps Up Duel 2

NSCS_Martin_Truex_Jr_022014

The word ‘undefeated’ rarely comes up in NASCAR. Winning two straight races is an extremely hard task to accomplish, but Denny Hamlin has followed in Kevin Harvick’s footsteps and has done just that during SpeedWeeks. Hamlin opened up SpeedWeeks by winning the Sprint Unlimited and now he is two-for-two at Daytona with his victory in the second Budweiser Duel.

A fairly calm race turned wild coming out of the last corner on the final lap when Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel. Johnson’s car quickly slowed, forcing McMurray to get into the back of him. That sent both the No.1 and No.48 cars into the wall and other cars scrambling. Clint Bowyer made a sharp left to avoid the accident and he came down across David Ragan’s nose. That sent Bowyer’s car into the air where it did a complete 360-degree flip before landing wheels down on the track.

“I would say perfect landing” Bowyer cheerfully told FOX Sports following the incident. Other drivers involved include Michael Waltrip, Carl Edwards, and Martin Truex Jr. Truex Jr. will now have to give up his second startingposition and start at the rear of the field on Sunday due to going to a backup car. All drivers were OK following the wreck.

Once the smoke settled, it was revealed who made and didn’t make the Daytona 500. Ryan Truex, Morgan Shepherd, Joe Nemechek, Eric McClure, Michael McDowell, and Dave Blaney are the six drivers who did not make the field. Drivers among the last to get in include Parker Kligerman, Justin Allgaier, Michael Waltrip, David Ragan, Bobby Labonte, and Terry Labonte. No past champions provisional was awarded as all past champion’s made the race based off of their Duel finishing positions.

The list continues to grow of drivers who will have to start the Daytona 500 at the back of the field due to having a backup car or changing an engine. Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Bobby Labonte, Brian Vickers, Parker Kligerman, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Michael Waltrip, Martin Truex Jr., and Jamie McMurray will all start in the rear on Sunday.

As those 13 drivers aren’t in the best of positions two days away from the Daytona 500, Joe Gibbs Racing is. JGR swept the Duels Thursday Night and now they have racked up three wins at SpeedWeeks. With three entries in each the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races this weekend, JGR may not be done winning just yet.

Hamlin will look to become part of an elite class to win each Sprint Cup race at Daytona SpeedWeeks on Sunday. Hamlin is on a streak and has the new restrictor plate package figured out, so he is shaping up to be a big threat in the Great American Race.

Fin St # Driver Sponsor Car Laps Status Led
1 11 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 60 Running 23
2 4 24 Jeff Gordon Drive To End Hunger/AARP Chevrolet 60 Running 0
3 14 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 60 Running 0
4 5 27 Paul Menard Peak/Menards Chevrolet 60 Running 0
5 6 33 Brian Scott Whitetails Chevrolet 60 Running 0
6 13 21 Trevor Bayne Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 60 Running 0
7 12 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 60 Running 0
8 1 78 Martin Truex, Jr. Furnirute Row Chevrolet 60 Running 1
9 16 40 Landon Cassill Hillman Racing Chevrolet 60 Running 0
10 10 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy Toyota 60 Running 0
11 19 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald’s Chevrolet 60 Running 0
12 21 32 Terry Labonte C&J Energy Services Ford 60 Running 0
13 22 52 Bobby Labonte Phoenix Construction Chevrolet 60 Running 0
14 8 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 60 Running 2
15 2 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 60 Running 0
16 7 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet 59 Accident 0
17 20 34 David Ragan CSX: Play It Safe Ford 59 Accident 0
18 17 66 Michael Waltrip BlueDEF/AAA Toyota 59 Accident 0
19 23 83 Ryan Truex Boria Exhaust Toyota 59 Running 0
20 15 51 Justin Allgaier Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 59 Running 0
21 9 7 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers Chevrolet 59 Running 0
22 24 93 Morgan Shepherd SupportMilitary.org Toyota 59 Running 0
23 18 35 Eric McClure Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Ford 57 Running 0
24 3 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 57 Running 34