At a Glance: How the Daytona 500 Went Down for Joe Gibbs Racing

Gowtham Ramalingam

The 2024 Daytona 500 was Joe Gibbs Racing’s first step towards winning a 6th Cup Series Championship. Following a 2023 season that saw just one of its drivers compete for the title in the Championship 4 at Phoenix, the restart was a welcomed one with renewed hopes. However, the first race of the season did not leave a big impression. With last year’s title contender Christopher Bell leading the team’s line-up with a 3rd place finish, here’s a glimpse at how well the others fared.

Denny Hamlin went to the 2.5-mile speedway as a favorite to win. A three-time winner of the 500, a fourth win would have put him alongside Cale Yarborough on the all-time winners list. However, the #11 driver would not find his way to the lead of the pack until the final stage. Not long after he did, he became entangled in the Big One that involved 18 cars on the field with less than 10 laps to go. He ultimately ended the day in 19th position, having led 10 laps.

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Martin Truex Jr. was last year’s regular season champ. He started the race from 27th position and climbed up the ladder expertly. He finished Stage 1 at 9th position behind Hamlin who ran 7th at the time. He followed that up with a 14th-place finish in Stage 2. The final stage saw him be a part of the same wreck that caught Hamlin. He ended the race 15th and took home 24 points.

Ty Gibbs was the worst performer of the day for Joe Gibbs Racing. He began his run from 15th on the grid and dropped down as the race progressed. Trailing his teammates for most of the race he finished the day at 17th place ahead of Hamlin. He led no laps and cashed in 20 points for his efforts.

Christopher Bell continues being the face of Joe Gibbs Racing

The #20 Toyota Camry driver started the Daytona 500 from 4th on the grid. He pretty much led his teammates for much of the race but fell back multiple positions towards the end of Stage 2. The two wrecks that engulfed the field helped him find his way to the top during the final stage. End of the day, only Joey Logano led more laps (45) than Bell. The JGR driver’s Camry was one of the cars that were left unaffected by the final stage’s Big One and helped him to the checkered flag.

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Despite the top-five finish, Bell doesn’t see things as ideal. He said in his post-race interview, “We showed a lot of pace between the Duel and the early part of the race. When we had track position, we were fast. But I don’t know. Didn’t go our way and we need to study it.” Bell and his team will have their next shot at the victory lane on February 25 in Atlanta.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

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About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The Sports Rush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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