Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 for the second straight year in a photo finish last night. However, the real story coming out of ‘The Great American Race’ was the condition of 20-year NASCAR veteran Ryan Newman, who took the worse of a big crash on the final lap.
The 42-year-old Newman’s car went air born and flipped before skidding across the track. His car caught on fire, as fans gasped while rescue workers rushed to the scene.
Hamlin’s third career Daytona 500 victory became a moot point, and his brief celebration came to an immediate halt when he and his team were informed of the situation in Victory Lane.
For about two hours, NASCAR fans awaited word on Newman’s condition, fearing that he perhaps suffered a similar fate as Dale Earnhardt at the 2001 Daytona 500. Nobody in the Cup Series has died in a wreck since the tragic crash that took the life of the legendary driver of the No. 3 car.
Alas, news came that Newman will survive.
The extent of his injuries remain unknown as of early Tuesday morning.
Track workers placed large, black screens around Newman’s car to shield fans from view as they worked to remove him. FOX opted not to air workers removing Newman from his car.
Here’s a clip of the terrifying wreck: