America's most famous race has its closest ever finish

The Daytona 500 was won by 0.011 seconds

daytona 500, treux jr, hamlin, nascar, america

Denny Hamlin (11) beats out Martin Truex Jr. (78) at the finish line to win the Daytona 500. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

It's difficult to fathom how big NASCAR is in America.

The opening race of the season took place on Sunday night in California. The Daytona 500 is one of the biggest events on the American sporting calendar as NASCAR gets ready to dominate Sunday afternoons until November.

Sunday evening's race saw the closest finish in the history of the event which has ran annually since 1959. Denny Hamlin came from behind on the final lap to beat Martin Truex Jr by 0.011 seconds. 

After just under 500 miles of racing, Hamlin won the race by around two feet. To put the length of the Daytona 500 into context, it runs for just under 500 kilometres more than a standard Formula 1 race.

That's tough luck on Truex, who had never won the iconic race either.