"The Big One" came late in the Daytona 500.
Hamlin said he would soak up his win, and he said he knows he would have a hangover on Monday: "I'm going to hate tomorrow, but I'm going to love the rest of my life". "There wasn't enough cars out there running at the end". In 19 career races at Daytona, his average finish position is 17th, so there are far better values to win it all than the 8-1 premium he's commanding. Almirola will start Sunday's race in eighth and he has the potential to deliver a strong payout with those 12-1 odds and an unquestionably fast vehicle.
Hamlin was feted for his second Daytona 500 victory inside the Bill France Room on the second floor of the speedway's Tickets & Tours Building, receiving a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch as part of his reward for taking the No. 11 FedEx Toyota to victory lane in the final race of AdventHealth Speedweeks. It's tradition for the NASCAR team when it wins the biggest race on the Cup Series schedule. In all, the team's dominant performance surprised the crowd and silenced the Ford faithful which were sure that one of the new Mustang Cup cars would be crossing the finish line first. As is always the case with "The Great American Race", NASCAR fans should expect fast, chaotic and entertaining superspeedway racing.
"I'll take the blame for that one", he said.
Kyle Murray Announces He Will Concentrate On NFL Career
Another potential, albeit unlikely scenario, is that the Arizona Cardinals could take Murray with their first selection. Murray passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns for Oklahoma last season and ran for 1,001 yards and 12 scores.
"When he gave me the top, I literally was doing a little cheer in my mind", Hamlin said.
The crashes led to almost 40 minutes of stoppage for cleanup - breaks so long race-winner Denny Hamlin claimed he twice fell asleep in his Toyota. "I don't want to tear this (car) up because I want to put it back in my house".
He has patched together a deal to race this season for an Xfinity title and is scheduled to race a full Cup ride in the No. 15 Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports.
- Matt DiBenedetto led a race-high 49 laps in his debut for mid-pack Leavine Family Racing. "I couldn't find the right opportunity, couldn't find the right sponsor". He finished 22nd in his final race before retirement. "It's the Daytona 500, you're going for the win". Last year's victor, Austin Dillon, will start 20th.
But more than any of that, this night was for the one man not here to enjoy it.