DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 4, 2008) – Joe Gibbs Racing continued its dominance of the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Denny Hamlin, driving the No. 20 Hardee’s/Coca-Cola Toyota, led a 1-2 Joe Gibbs Racing finish in Friday’s Winn-Dixie 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at historic Daytona International Speedway.
Hamlin, who started 17th, held off teammate Kyle Busch in an exciting green-white-checkered finish.
The win is the third of the season for Hamlin and the ninth of the year for the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, which has swept the restrictor-plate races so far this season. It also gave Toyota its 13th win of the season in the Nationwide Series.
Hamlin, who led the most laps – 29 of the 105 – was followed across the finish line by Busch, Hendrick Motorsports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer and JR Motorsports Brad Keselowski.
“It was amazing,” Hamlin said. “To do this with the Coca-Cola/Hardee’s Toyota today means a lot. My final ride in the No. 20 car. A lot of these guys were here at the inception when I started in this car and it feels good to do this when I am in my last ride.
“I have to thank Kyle for sticking with me there at the end. The only way we weren’t going to win is if he actually went for the win.”
Busch had a strong car from the start, gaining 11 spots in the first three laps of the 250-mile race to break into the top 10.
“I felt like we had a good car,” Busch said. “We battled up front all night long and stayed in position to win. Overall, it was a good night. With the green-white-checkered it made it a little bit more exciting for the fans, but I knew there wasn’t going to be much to get around the 20, he was just too much.”
Bryan Clauson, who earned his first career pole during qualifying for Friday night’s race, was able to keep his No. 40 Fastenal Dodge with the front pack during most of the race but finished the night with a 19th-place finish.
Next up at Daytona International Speedway is the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.