The Daytona 500 got off to an awesome start thanks to the arrival of Air Force One and the opening lap by the presidential limo, known as “The Beast.” The NASCAR community continues to pray for Ryan Newman after his fiery crash at the finish as Denny Hamlin won his second straight Daytona. Michelle R. Martinelli reports for USA Today:
A violent 62nd Daytona 500 that featured a visit from President Donald Trump and covered two days ended Monday evening with Denny Hamlin celebrating victory in NASCAR’s biggest race for the second year in a row and all of motorsports concerned for driver Ryan Newman.
Hamlin held off Ryan Blaney in a photo finish in the second overtime at Daytona International Speedway after multiple wrecks in the final 20 laps decimated the field in the longest Daytona 500 in history.
But Hamlin’s celebration was muted as emergency crews tended to Newman after he was involved in a horrific crash on the final lap.
Newman, who held the lead as the field took the white flag, got turned while racing for the win, and his No. 6 Ford slammed into the wall then flipped up and over landing on its roof before Corey LaJoie’s Ford slammed into his car, flipping the car once again.
Safety crews rushed to Newman’s aid to remove him from the car. He was taken to a local hospital. Newman’s team, Roush Fenway Racing, issued a statement Monday night with an update: “Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening.”
Hamlin now has won three of the last five Daytona 500s, while giving newly minted Hall of Fame owner Joe Gibbs his fourth victory in the Great American Race. Hamlin also won in 2016 in the closest finish in the event’s history. This year’s finish took several moments to decide before Hamlin was declared the winner in the second-closest finish in history.
Read more here.
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