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)

Countdown to the Daytona 500: Remembering the closest finish in Daytona 500 history in 2016


The Daytona 500 is eight days away, and we're counting down the days until the NASCAR season begins at Daytona International Speedway with memorable moments at the most prestigious race in the sport.

It took 11 tries for the No. 11 to win his first Daytona 500.

The 2016 Daytona 500 included one of the most memorable finishes in the history of the event when Denny Hamlin stormed from behind and beat Martin Truex Jr. to the finish line by an inch.

Matt Kenseth had the lead late in the race, and he was followed by Truex and Kyle Busch. But Hamlin made his move at the perfect time and passed Busch, while Kenseth fell back. That led to a photo finish between Hamlin and Truex, and it was the closest finish in Daytona 500 history.


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Hamlin defeated Truex by one-hundredth of a second (0.010), and it was his first win at the Daytona 500.

Hamlin led for 95 laps, and he had the best car for most of the afternoon. Toyota also had a dominating day as Truex, Hamlin, Busch and Kenseth all had great races.


Many fans actually thought Truex won at first because it was so tough to differentiate between the two and Truex had a slight lead for a moment. But Hamlin just barely edged him out for the win.

The race will be remembered as one of the best in Daytona 500 history, and Hamlin will look to duplicate that magic at this year's race on Feb. 18.