DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 21: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the checkered flag ahead of Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

With one lap left in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Matt Kenseth had the lead, Martin Truex Jr. was stuck in second and Denny Hamlin was back with the rest of the pack.

But after a thrilling final stretch, Kenseth somehow wound up 14th, with Hamlin defeating Truex by just .011 of a second, or this much:

Here’s what happened: Hamlin made a move on the outside, and when Kenseth attempted to block him and hold his position, Hamlin snuck inside and bumped Kenseth, slowing him down and sending him back among the masses. Hamlin then caught up to Truex and edged him for the closest victory in Daytona 500 history. Keep in mind, these are all teammates so the fact that teammates are willing to race this hard to the line really said something.

Here’s the full video of the incredible finish:

In retrospect, Kenseth might have cost himself the race by attempting to block Hamlin instead of just racing him to the finish. The big move from Hamlin almost cleared the way for Truex to steal a victory, but the FedEx car eeked out a win in the first Sprint Cup race of the year.

Hamlin, 35, has now won 26 races in his 11-plus-year career. Sunday was his first ever Daytona 500 victory.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

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