Carnage at Daytona 500

The victory is Hamlin’s second at Daytona, NASCAR’s blue riband event, in the last four years.Hamlin took the lead with two laps to go, passing Busch, before a crash further back enforced a delay to allow for the track to be cleared.That followed an earlier incident when Paul Menard clipped Matt DiBenedetto. A huge pile up ensued, with sparks flying and torn bodywork scattered all over the track.Among those taken out in the carnage was defending Daytona champion Austin Dillon. After lengthy delays, only 14 cars finished the race on the lead lap.Despite winning at Daytona in 2016, Hamlin hadn’t picked up a NASCAR race win in over a year.Speaking afterwards Hamlin paid tribute to J.D. Gibbs, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing who passed away last month after battling a degenerative neurological disease.”It was just one of those days where I felt like it was meant to be,” Hamlin said, in comments carried by the official NASCAR website.”This one is for J.D. We’re desperately going to miss him the rest of our lives. His legacy still lives on through Joe Gibbs Racing and I’m proud to do this for them.”