Daytona 500, denny hamlin, NASCAR

Denny Hamlin wins Daytona 500, Ryan Newman crosses finish line on roof

Ryan Newman (6) lands on his roof after crashing and crossed the finish line that way at the NASCAR Daytona 500. / Associated Press

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Another year, another Denny Hamlin win in the Daytona 500.

And Joe Gibbs still has the team to beat in NASCAR.

Hamlin won his third Daytona 500 on Monday, becoming the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1995 to win “The Great American Race” in consecutive seasons. His win last year was a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing and kicked off a yearlong company celebration in which Gibbs drivers won a record 19 races and the Cup championship.

Hamlin joined six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more Daytona 500s. He tied Dale Jarrett — who gave JGR its first Daytona 500 win in 1993 — Jeff Gordon and Bobby Allison. Hamlin trails Cale Yarborough’s four wins and the record seven by Richard Petty.

This victory came after just the second rain postponement in 62 years, a visit from President Donald Trump, a pair of red flag stoppages and two overtimes. As he went door-to-door with Ryan Blaney for the finish — the 0.014 margin of victory was the second closest in race history — Ryan Newman took a wild ride along the track when he was crashed trying to hold onto the lead.

Newman’s car flipped several times and crossed the finish line on its roof, engulfed in flames.

 

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More AP auto racing

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Daytona 500

U.S. Toyota Supra four-cylinder announcement coming next week?

Here in the States, the only engine available in the reborn Toyota Supra is an inline-six that produces 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. In other markets, however, Toyota’s swoopy sportscar is offered with a couple of four-cylinder options. According to a report from Motor Trend, an announcement for a 2.0-liter turbocharged four for the U.S. could be imminent.

Motor Trend asked Ed Laukes, Toyota’s group vice president of marketing, directly about the possibility of a downsized engine in the U.S. Supra, and he responded that they should “stay tuned for next week.” Taking that a little further, MT postulates that an announcement could be made at the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 16.

BMW offers a 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the mechanically similar Z4 with 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s not clear what power level Toyota would target for a base-level Supra, but a 225-hp version is offered in Japan. What’s more, a four-cylinder Supra has already been certified for sale by the California Air Resources Board, which means at least some hurdles have already been passed.

So, will it come? Perhaps we’ll find out in a week.

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