DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Feb 21 (Reuters) - Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 in an electrifying photo-finish over Martin Truex Jr. on Sunday to put Toyota in Victory Lane for the first time at the Great American Race.
Matt Kenseth had looked poised to add his name to the short list of three-time Daytona 500 winners but as the pack turned onto the home straight at Daytona International Speedway his Joe Gibbs Racing team mate surged into the lead and outran Truex to the line to claim victory by a wafer-thin 1/100th of a second.
Kyle Busch was third, also in a Toyota, to give the Japanese company an unprecedented sweep of the Daytona podium.
Pole sitter, 20-year-old Chase Elliott, and two-time winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. both had their victory hopes ended by crashes.
The Hendricks Motorsports team mates had been among the pre-race favorites.
It marked the first time in 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup races that Earnhardt did not finish. (Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Andrew Both.)