Hamlin wins exhibition Sprint Unlimited at Daytona - NBC Sports

Hamlin wins exhibition Sprint Unlimited at Daytona
Matt Kenseth (20) slides sideways in front of Joey Logano (22), Tony Stewart (14) and Jeff Gordon (24), starting a multi-car crash in the front stretch during the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. Denny Hamlin, front, escaped the wreck. (AP Photo/David Graham)
February 15, 2014, 10:44 pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Denny Hamlin has won the exhibition Sprint Unlimited - a race that ended with only eight cars running to the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway.

Half the 18-car field was knocked out of Saturday night's race during a nine-car accident during the second of three segments.

It was a bizarre kickoff to Speedweeks as Danica Patrick's race was ended when boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slammed into her car during the melee, and the Chevrolet pace car later caught on fire.

A 75-lap race split over three segments, this version had a heavy fan involvement as sponsor Sprint allowed fans to vote for various aspects of the race. Among them was the starting order, how the segments were split and how the cars lined up in the final segment.

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