A look at the winners and losers from the Daytona 500 weekend:
Michael McDowell — He’ll forever be known as a Daytona 500 champion. As three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin said of McDowell’s win: “This is definitely no fluke.” McDowell’s victory was his third top-10 finish in the last four Daytona 500s. Said McDowell on Monday morning of his win: “Very emotional and humble experience where just realizing like, ‘Man, we just won the biggest race in the world.’”
Chase Elliott — Begins his season as the reigning Cup champion by finishing second in the Daytona 500. He had not finished better than 14th in five previous Daytona 500 starts.
Denny Hamlin — Bid for three consecutive Daytona 500s fell short, but his fifth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top five in the season-opening race.
Ben Rhodes — He passed Cory Roper on the final lap and then held off Jordan Anderson to win the Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona.
Team Penske — Ryan Blaney was eliminated in the early crash (along with Team Penske-affiliated Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto), and then contact between teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano on the the last lap wrecked both as they raced for the win. For as rough as the Daytona 500 was, the team did win the Xfinity race with Austin Cindric.
Martin Truex Jr. — He’s winless in 17 Daytona 500 starts. Truex was involved in the early crash but was able to continue, finishing 25th. He has not had a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500 since finishing second in the 2016 race to Denny Hamlin.