Health Care

Denny Hamlin wins third Daytona 500; Ryan Newman hospitalized in fiery wreck at finish

Trump: The Daytona 500 is a legendary display of roaring enginesVideo

Trump: The Daytona 500 is a legendary display of roaring engines

President Trump speaks at the 62nd Annual Daytona 500.

Denny Hamlin emerged victorious at the Daytona 500 on Monday night, winning the iconic NASCAR race for a third time, but it was overshadowed by a string of dramatic crashes — including a fiery wreck that sent Ryan Newman to the hospital.

Newman flipped several times right before the finish; his current condition was unknown.

Hamlin became the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1995 to win “The Great American Race” in consecutive seasons.

His win last year was a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing and kicked off a yearlong company celebration in which Gibbs drivers won a record 19 races and the Cup championship.

Hamlin joined six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more Daytona 500s. He tied Dale Jarrett — who gave JGR its first Daytona 500 win in 1993 — along with Jeff Gordon and Bobby Allison. Hamlin trailed Cale Yarborough’s four wins and the record seven by Richard Petty.

As Newman went door-to-door with Ryan Blaney for the finish — the 0.014 margin of victory was the second closest in race history — Newman took a wild ride along the track when he crashed trying to hold onto the lead.

Newman had surged into the lead on the final lap when Blaney’s bumper caught the back of his Ford and sent Newman hard right into the wall. His car flipped, rolled, was hit on the driver’s side by another car, and finally skidded across the finish line engulfed in flames.

NASCAR gave no immediate announcement on Newman’s status, and officials moved bystanders away from the crash scene.

Newman reportedly was extracted from his car and taken directly to a local hospital by ambulance.

Safety workers rolled Newman’s car back onto its wheels before he was removed.

It took several minutes for his car to be rolled back onto its wheels.

The Newman crash made for a somber victory lane.

“I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are and number one, we are praying for Ryan,” Hamlin said.

Runner-up Blaney said the way the final lap shook out, with Newman surging ahead of Hamlin, that Blaney locked in behind Newman in a move of brand alliance for Ford.

“We pushed Newman there to the lead and then we got a push from the 11… I was committed to just pushing him to the win and having a Ford win it and got the bumpers hooked up wrong. It looked bad,” he said.

Hamlin had eight Ford drivers lined up behind him as the leader on the second overtime shootout without a single fellow Toyota driver in the vicinity to help him. It allowed Newman to get past him for the lead, but the bumping in the pack led to Newman’s hard turn right into the wall, followed by multiple rolls and a long skid across the finish line.

The 0.014 margin of victory was the second closest in race history, and Hamlin’s win over Martin Truex Jr. in 2016 was the closest finish in race history.

That margin of victory was 0.01 seconds. The win in “The Great American Race” is the third for Toyota, all won by Hamlin.

Gibbs has four Daytona 500 victories as an owner.

Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott were involved in a heavy hit as the end neared.

At fever pitch in the final 20 laps, approximately 19 cars in all were involved in the Big One on Lap 181.

The Daytona 500 resumed Monday after the race was postponed for just the second time in 62 years, following rain delays. NASCAR was committed to running its version of the Super Bowl, regardless.

Monday marked the third time the Daytona 500 ran on Presidents Day, the other two in 1959 and 1970.

President Trump revved up NASCAR’s Daytona 500 on Sunday, becoming the second-ever president to deliver the iconic command, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” and the first of any president to take a lap in the armored presidential limo, dubbed “The Beast.”

Trump, who was tapped to act as the race’s grand marshal, and first lady Melania Trump addressed the 100,000-seat racetrack at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway ahead of the race he called “pure American glory.”


“The Daytona 500 is the legendary display of roaring engines, soaring spirits and the American skill, speed and power that we’ve been hearing about for so many years,” Trump told the crowd before the race began.

This is a developing story; check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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