partlycloudy
Monday July 6th, 2015 1:57PM

Hamlin, Kenseth win Daytona 500 qualifying races with wild ending

By Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing Writer
Related Articles
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (AP) - It's been 21 years since Joe Gibbs Racing celebrated its only Daytona 500 victory.

Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth have the team in good position to end the drought.

The JGR drivers swept the Daytona 500 qualifying races Thursday night. For Kenseth, it was redemption after a pair of wrecks during Speedweeks. Hamlin's victory kept him undefeated on 2014.

Hamlin also won last Saturday's exhibition Sprint Unlimited, and he goes into Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 trying to become the first driver in history to sweep Speedweeks.

"Once that snowball starts to roll, it's hard to stop it, and right now we're just on a heck of a run," said Hamlin, who closed last year with a win in the season finale.

After going so many years without winning a second Daytona 500, team owner Joe Gibbs wasn't looking ahead. His only win was with Dale Jarrett in 1993.

"We've come with great cars over the years. It shows you what a tough race this is, the 500," he said. "This race is extremely, extremely hard to win. That probably says it the best. That says it the best, over 21 years, that's a bunch."

JGR had strong cars last season and seemed to be the team to beat during the race, but came up empty when Kenseth's engine failed while leading. Minutes later, teammate Kyle Busch's engine also failed. Toyota is still looking for its first win in the "Great American Race."

"The last Daytona was so far away, we've moved well beyond that," said Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson. "We're certainly not sweating the issues we had last year."

The qualifying races make for an emotional day as drivers race their way into the Daytona 500, while others are sent home from the biggest event of the NASCAR season.

Those left broken-hearted this year were Michael McDowell, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Truex, Eric McClure and Morgan Shepherd, who at 72 was trying to become the oldest driver in the field. Dave Blaney withdrew from the qualifying race after wrecking his only car in Wednesday's practice.

But it was euphoria for the small teams of Swan Racing, which got both Cole Whitt and Parker Kligerman in the race a day after both drivers wrecked in practice, and Hillman Racing, which will be in the Daytona 500 with Landon Cassill, who was hit by a car Saturday while riding his bike in Daytona.

"I've been stressed out about this since July," Cassill said. "I think I've played this race over in my head, what I think it could do, for months now. For a small team, this race kind of makes our whole season, just the prize money alone to start on Sunday gets us through the next six or seven weeks. It's just huge for us."

For Swan Racing, getting rookies Whitt and Kligerman into the field erased the nightmare of Wednesday.

Whitt wrecked moments into practice, and the team was forced to rebuild his car after Kligerman's was totaled when he went airborne. It was the first time Kligerman was ever upside down. Because Swan has only one backup, Kligerman got it, and the team went to work rebuilding Whitt's car.

Whitt raced his way in, but Kligerman faded in the first race and had to nervously watch the second race unfold to see if he earned a spot in the Daytona 500.

"I feel like in a lot of ways, you have the weight of an organization on your shoulders to get these two cars in the race," Kligerman said. "It's a growing organization, an organization that wants to be around for a long time to come."

But the second race ended in chaos, making everyone unsure of anything as defending Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson ran out of gas on the final lap to trigger a crash that caused Clint Bowyer's car to flip.

"I knew he was saving gas coming to the green. It's too bad to tear cars up like that," Bowyer said. "That was one of the wildest flips I've ever had. I think we would have been just fine if I hadn't hit the grass right here."

Johnson was apologetic.

"I feel terrible. To tear up that many race cars ... to see (Bowyer) flip ... certainly want to apologize to everyone," he said. "I tried to get up out of the way. So much energy in the pack that I knew I was going to get run over if I ran out because guys warned me about it - and it did."

The first race was uneventful as Kenseth led two times for 31 of the 60 laps. Harvick pulled out on the final lap to make his bid for the victory. Then Kasey Kahne pulled out of line to make it three-wide.

After the race, Harvick was informed while sitting in the Fox Sports 1 studio as an analyst for the second race that his Chevrolet, sponsored by Budweiser, had failed post-race inspection for the first Budweiser Duel.

"Yeah, well, well, that's no good," Harvick said.

WDUN will have live coverage from MRN Radio of NASCAR Nationwide Series season opening Drive 4 COPD 400 from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 22 on 102.9 FM beginnng at 11 AM, and live MRN coverage of the Feb. 23 Daytona 500 beginning at Noon on 102.9 FM and at 1 pm on 550 AM.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, FL
Budweiser Duel Race 1 - Feb. 20, 2014


1. (9) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 60 laps, 120.7 rating, 0 points, $56,726.
2. (10) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 60, 103.1, 0, $41,713.
3. (6) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 60, 95.2, 0, $36,713.
4. (4) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 60, 118.9, 0, $31,713.
5. (22) Josh Wise, Ford, 60, 68.8, 0, $29,713.
6. (7) Aric Almirola, Ford, 60, 93.9, 0, $27,313.
7. (14) A J Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 60, 90.7, 0, $26,213.
8. (16) David Gilliland, Ford, 60, 88.6, 0, $25,213.
9. (3) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 60, 75, 0, $25,188.
10. (18) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 60, 63.6, 0, $25,163.
11. (20) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 60, 77.4, 0, $25,138.
12. (2) Greg Biffle, Ford, 60, 81.3, 0, $25,113.
13. (13) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 60, 59.3, 0, $25,088.
14. (24) Alex Bowman, Toyota, 60, 45.6, 0, $25,063.
15. (19) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 60, 49.7, 0, $25,038.
16. (8) Joey Logano, Ford, 60, 62.4, 0, $25,013.
17. (17) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 60, 54.1, 0, $24,988.
18. (1) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 60, 67.2, 0, $24,938.
19. (5) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 60, 47.8, 0, $24,913.
20. (11) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 60, 36.3, 0, $24,888.
21. (21) Michael McDowell, Ford, 59, 27.8, 0, $24,838.
22. (23) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 59, 29.8, 0, $24,813.
23. (15) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, wheel bearing, 20, 26.6, 0, $24,763.
24. (12) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, penalty, 60, 87, 0, $24,738.

Race Statistics
Average Speed of Race Winner: 192.539 mph.
Time of Race: 0 hours, 46 minutes, 49 seconds.
Margin of Victory: 0.022 seconds.
Caution Flags: 0 for 0 laps.
Lead Changes: 5 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: A.Dillon 1-14; D.Earnhardt Jr. 15-27; M.Kenseth 28-36; D.Earnhardt Jr. 37; K.Kahne 38; M.Kenseth 39-60.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): M.Kenseth, 2 times for 31 laps; D.Earnhardt Jr., 2 times for 14 laps; A.Dillon, 1 time for 14 laps; K.Kahne, 1 time for 1 lap.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, FL
Budweiser Duel Race 2 - Feb. 20, 2014


1. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 60 laps, 107.9 rating, 0 points.
2. (4) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 60, 107.7, 0.
3. (14) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 60, 102.9, 0.
4. (5) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 60, 79.4, 0.
5. (6) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 60, 98, 0.
6. (13) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 60, 81.2, 0.
7. (12) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 60, 80.2, 0.
8. (1) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 60, 70.4, 0.
9. (16) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 60, 72.2, 0.
10. (10) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 60, 73.8, 0.
11. (19) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 60, 77.2, 0.
12. (21) Terry Labonte, Ford, 60, 50.7, 0.
13. (22) Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet, 60, 50.9, 0.
14. (8) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 60, 71.1, 0.
15. (2) Carl Edwards, Ford, 60, 85, 0.
16. (7) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, accident, 59, 67.7, 0.
17. (20) David Ragan, Ford, accident, 59, 69.5, 0.
18. (17) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, accident, 59, 67.8, 0.
19. (23) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 59, 30.6, 0.
20. (15) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 59, 33, 0.
21. (9) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 59, 34.6, 0.
22. (24) Morgan Shepherd, Toyota, 59, 26.6, 0.
23. (18) Eric McClure, Ford, 57, 34.6, 0.
24. (3) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 57, 92.5, 0.

Race Statistics
Average Speed of Race Winner: 192.651 mph.
Time of Race: 0 hours, 46 minutes, 43 seconds.
Margin of Victory: 0.022 seconds.
Caution Flags: 1 for 1 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M.Truex Jr. 1; B.Keselowski 2-35; C.Mears 36-37; D.Hamlin 38-60.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): B.Keselowski, 1 time for 34 laps; D.Hamlin, 1 time for 23 laps; C.Mears, 1 time for 2 laps; M.Truex Jr., 1 time for 1 lap.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona 500 Starting Line Up


1. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 196.019.
2. (78) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 195.852.
3. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 194.574.
4. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 194.477.
5. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 194.544.
6. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 195.042.
7. (9) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 194.894.
8. (41) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 194.078.
9. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 195.211.
10. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 194.919.
11. (98) Josh Wise, Ford, 192.061.
12. (33) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 194.776.
13. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, 194.658.
14. (21) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 194.334.
15. (47) A J Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 194.108.
16. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 194.41.
17. (38) David Gilliland, Ford, 193.736.
18. (40) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 193.732.
19. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 195.707.
20. (15) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 194.523.
21. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 193.365.
22. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 192.695.
23. (26) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 192.538.
24. (32) Terry Labonte, Ford, 192.135.
25. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 195.818.
26. (52) Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet, 191.493.
27. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 194.38.
28. (13) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 194.582.
29. (23) Alex Bowman, Toyota, 189.685.
30. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford, 195.712.
31. (55) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 192.798.
32. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 194.637.
33. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 195.296.
34. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 195.004.
35. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 194.582.
36. (7) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 194.574.
37. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 194.502.
38. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 194.422.
39. (36) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 194.066.
40. (51) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 193.815.
41. (30) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 193.594.
42. (66) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 193.428.
43. (34) David Ragan, Ford, 192.328.

Failed to Qualify
44. (83) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 190.347.
45. (95) Michael McDowell, Ford, 192.291.
46. (87) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 190.48.
47. (93) Morgan Shepherd, Toyota, 189.542.
48. (35) Eric McClure, Ford, 192.905.
49. (77) Dave Blaney, Ford.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 6 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 6 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 6 months ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 6 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 6 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 6 months ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 6 months ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
ST. GEORGE, UT (AP)
12:51PM ( 6 months ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 6 months ago )
NASCAR News
Kurt Buschs ex seeks no-contact order at hearing
DOVER, DE (AP)
12:27PM ( 6 months ago )
Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship after 2016 season
CHARLOTTE, NC (AP)
2:54PM ( 6 months ago )
Sprint Unlimited field features Chase drivers for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Coming off an exciting 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, NASCAR announced Monday all 16 Chase drivers will be eligible to compete in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
12:00PM ( 6 months ago )
Sprint Cup
Carli Lloyd becomes Captain America for US women
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — For a brief time Sunday night, Carli Lloyd's Wikipedia page listed her position as "President of the United States."More like Captain America.Lloyd scored three goal...
8:05AM ( 5 hours ago )
Earnhardt, Jr. wins, Austin Dillon crashes hard at Daytona
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. endured a weekend of rain, a three-hour-plus pre-race delay, and nine caution flags to win the Coke-Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway early Monday morning.
By Bill Speros-NASCAR Wire Service
3:15AM ( 10 hours ago )
Lloyd hat trick leads US over Japan 5-2 for World Cup title
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Carli Lloyd lives for the big moment. She had her biggest on Sunday night — and gave the United States its record third Women's World Cup title.Lloyd scored three ti...
1:06AM ( 12 hours ago )
Braves shake up bullpen after 4-0 loss to Phillies in 10
A 10th-inning meltdown set the stage for a postgame shake-up of Atlanta's bullpen...
10:43PM ( 15 hours ago )
U.S. women hope history does not repeat itself
Abby Wambach remembers the date by heart: July 17, 2011. That was the day the United States lost to Japan in the Women's World Cup title match in Germany.
By The Associated Press
6:45PM ( 19 hours ago )