The moment that set up Denny Hamlin‘s Daytona 500 win on Sunday came on Lap 108, according to NASCAR America’s Steve Letarte.
That’s when Hamlin made a pit stop near the end of Stage 2.
“(Crew chief Chris) Gabehart calls his car to pit road,” Letarte said. “He doesn’t care about stage points. He cares about four fresh tires on a hot, slick Daytona track.”
Then on Lap 122, during the stage break pit stop, Gabehart decided to put only fuel in the No. 11 Toyota when he was 21st.
“On Lap 163 he got 6 seconds of gas, that’s it, no tires,” Letarte said. “That gave him track position (eighth) in front of all of those accidents. The turning points to this race was before Stage 2 even ended.”
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