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Rookie Hamlin takes Shootout victory.

Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Denny Hamlin, who took pole position last November at Phoenix in just his sixth Nextel Cup career start, beat the best the Nextel Cup field could throw at him as he soared to a surprise Bud Shootout win at Daytona.

Hamlin, whose has yet to win a points paying race in any of NASCAR's top three series, pulled a huge upset by passing his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart at the start of a green-white-chequered finish to claim his, and his #11 FedEx team's first race win. The 25 year-old driver also becomes the first rookie to ever win the Bud Shootout.

Hamlin and Stewart were two of several late race contenders in a race that saw pole winner Ken Schrader lead the majority of the opening 20-lap segment before dropping back to 14th in the final 50-lap sprint to the flag.

Jimmie Johnson was also a mainstay at the front of the pack, trading the lead with Schrader in the first segment and then leading convincingly at the start of segment two before finishing fifth, behind fourth place Scott Riggs, Stewart and eventual runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr, who was given the nod over Stewart only after officials had been given the chance to review photographic evidence from the start/finish line.

Although many of the 21 starters chose not to use their actual Daytona 500 cars, it was a rough night for several drivers who failed to make full use of their additional track time ahead of Thursday's two Gatorade qualifying races. Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon both suffered engine problems while Gordon was also involved in one of several incidents during the course of the race.

Brian Vickers was the main casualty of a mini seven-car incident caused when Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray made contact. Newman later retired while McMurray finished eighth after more contact in the second segment with his new Roush teammate Mark Martin.

Carl Edwards also suffered and lost out on a potential top finish when NASCAR penalised him twice for passing under the yellow out of bounds line. He would finish one lap down in 16th position.


Related Pictures

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Denny Hamlin. [Pic Credit Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images]
Dale Earnhardt Jr talks to crew chief Tony Eury Jr in Las Vegas. [Pic Credit Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Tony Stewart addresses the media in Las Vegas. [Pic Credit Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images]
Matt Crafton ready for racing at Daytona International Speedway on 14 January 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton in action at Daytona International Speedway on 14 January 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, talks to Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, prepares for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. Hornish is replacing Denny Hamlin who was not cleared to race due to illness.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 14, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 14, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The #11 FedEx Freight Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick in the Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Daytona 500 Honorary Starter, actor Gary Sinise, waves the green flag to start the Daytona 500 as Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 DOW Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, sits facing backwards in his pit box after an incident on pit road during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Air Titan track driers run during a rain delay in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Three-wide racing with Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota; Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet; and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota; leading the pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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