NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver with ThorSport Racing after winning the season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Friday.
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A victory for Denny Hamlin is a sure indication that the NASCAR Cup Series season has officially returned with the 62nd running of the Daytona 500. It was an incredible prerace show that included President Donald Trump being the Grand Marshall and WWE Superstar Seamus being the honorary pace car drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. also waved the green flag to kick off the race. The race track was buzzing with excitement with these important figures making an appearance.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In the hours before his final Daytona 500 start, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was riding bikes with his wife and two young daughters in the infield, enjoying the sunny Florida day and the good vibes before NASCAR’s highest-profile green flag flew.
On the grid before the race, Johnson’s daughters took turns sitting in the driver’s seat of their dad’s famed No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. And then moments later, their father rolled off and into the last Daytona 500 he’s scheduled to run before retiring at the end of the season.
For most of the day, Johnson kept the car upfront and looked absolutely ready to contend for his third Daytona 500 trophy… only to be collected in a late-race wreck while running in the top five. Johnson was caught in a 19-car accident with 16 laps remaining in the 200-lap race – a race won for the second consecutive time by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin.