Hamlin wins dramatic Daytona 500, Newman crash overshadows finish

Jake Nichol
Autosport
Hamlin wins Daytona 500 after scary Newman crash
Hamlin wins Daytona 500 after scary Newman crash

Denny Hamlin became the fourth driver in NASCAR history to win back-to-back Daytona 500s with victory in overtime, though a frightening Ryan Newman crash overshadowed the season-opening Cup race's finish.

Hamlin, who joins Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Sterling Malin in defending the race, pipped Team Penske's Ryan Blaney in a photo-finish after Newman's crash.

On the 209th and final lap of the race, Blaney bumped Newman into the lead on the back-stretch of the 2.5-mile superspeedway, with Hamlin falling down to third.

Exiting Turn 4, Blaney was then bumped by Hamlin, who collected the rear of Newman's Roush Fenway Ford Mustang, spitting the #6 into the wall.

Newman's car then flipped and was then hit by Corey Lajoie, pushing the car upside down along the track.

Medical crews were quickly on the scene to extract Newman from the wreck of the car. He was taken to hospital, with no further information available at the time of filing.

Hamlin's third victory in the Daytona 500 was secured by just 0.014 seconds from Blaney, in the longest 500 on record.

Chris Buescher took third, his best result in the Cup series since his sole win at Pocono in 2016, in the #17 Mustang.

David Ragan scooped fourth on his Rick Ware Racing debut, ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick.

In an attritional race, which was rescheduled from Sunday to Monday for just the second time after rain forced its postponement after 20 laps, just 17 of the 40 starters completing the full race distance.

Two big crashes forced red flags late in the third and final stage of the race, the first taking out most of the established runners, including seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, contesting his final Daytona 500.

The #22 Penske of Joey Logano clipped Aric Almirola's SHR Ford, in turn collecting Logano's team-mate, Brad Keselowski, who speared into the wall, triggering a chain reaction that caused the first red flag of the race to be thrown.

The likes of Martin Truex Jr, Keselowski, Johnson, and Alex Bowman were eliminated on the spot, while reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch was forced to retire his JGR Toyota Camry with mechanical problems, caused by a wall-strike after contact with Logano, soon after.

A second red flag was called when Ross Chastain, Ryan Preece, Chase Elliott and Logano made contact with two scheduled laps to go, forcing the race into overtime.

Clint Bowyer followed home SHR team-mate Harvick in sixth, ahead of superspeedway specialist Brendon Gaughan in his Beard Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro entry. LaJoie, Newman and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 10.

Stage one of the race was dominated by the Ford and Chevrolet runners, after Toyota's race-strategy had their contingent of Camry's running at the rear of the field, prompting Busch to claim the manufacturer was "forfeiting" the race.

However, the strategy allowed the Camry's to cycle through to the lead at the start of the second stage, and hold the top five positions for a majority of the 65 laps.

Elliott scooped victory in the first 65-lap segment, whilst eventual race winner Hamlin took honours in the second.

Daytona 500 result

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Laps

1

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

209

2

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Ford

209

3

Chris Buescher

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

209

4

David Ragan

Rick Ware Racing

Ford

209

5

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

209

6

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

209

7

Brendan Gaughan

Beard Motorsports

Chevrolet

209

8

Corey LaJoie

Go FAS Racing

Ford

209

9

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

209

10

Kyle Larson

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

209

11

John Hunter Nemechek

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

209

12

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

209

13

J.J. Haley

Kaulig Racing

Chevrolet

209

14

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

Ford

209

15

Darrell Wallace Jr.

Richard Petty Motorsports

Chevrolet

209

16

Brennan Poole

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

209

17

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

209

18

Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

208

19

Matt DiBenedetto

Wood Brothers Racing

Ford

207

20

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

206

21

Christopher Bell

Leavine Family Racing

Toyota

205

22

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

205

23

Joey Gase

Petty Ware Racing

Chevrolet

203

24

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

203

25

Ross Chastain

Spire Motorsports

Chevrolet

201

26

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Ford

200

27

Timmy Hill

MBM Motorsports

Ford

200

28

Tyler Reddick

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

199

29

Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty Racing

Chevrolet

198

30

Ty Dillon

Germain Racing

Chevrolet

198

31

Reed Sorenson

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

192

32

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

186

33

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

184

34

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

184

35

Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

184

36

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Ford

183

37

Cole Custer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

174

38

B.J. McLeod

Rick Ware Racing

Ford

105

39

Quin Houff

StarCom Racing

Chevrolet

89

40

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

58


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