By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Denny Hamlin has won the 2020 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Monday night in Daytona Beach, Florida. However, despite his win, the concern is with Ryan Newman at this time.
Newman was involved in a horrific crash in the final lap of the event. He was about 100 feet or so from winning his second Daytona 500 when he lost control of his vehicle.
He then went upside down and twisted, then Corey LaJoie crashed into his driver’s side. Newman’s car then flipping again and flipped over the finish line.
His car eventually came to a stop on its lid. NASCAR Safety personnel had to put out the fire and stopped the gas leak before attempting to remove the injured Newman from his vehicle.
Newman is in serious condition, but is expected to survive. Hamlin, along with Joe Gibbs Racing, was celebrating their win, but admitted in the post-race ceremony that they were unaware of how bad Newman’s wreck was.
“I mean, obviously not finding out anything about the 6’s wreck until essentially Jamie [Little] told us no start-finish interview, and so I knew it was bad — I knew him crossing the track there was a bad scenario in the first place,” Hamlin said of Newman’s crash. “But it’s a weird balance of excitement and happiness for yourself, but obviously someone’s health and their family is bigger than any win in any sport.
“We’re just hoping for the best.”
Hamlin won his second straight Daytona 500 with this win. In addition, he has won three of the last five Daytona 500’s.
Hamlin cleared inspection for the win. He barely defeated Ryan Blaney, who finished second, by mere seconds.
Chris Buescher — who is in his first season with Jack Roush — finished third.
Hamlin is the first driver since Sterlin Martin to win back-to-back Daytona 500’s. Martin won in 1994 and 1995.
“The historical side of things,” Hamlin said. “It’s just — I don’t know, I need time to process it. I was saying actually at lunch [on Monday], I’m like, I just — I don’t feel good about [Monday], just not because of my car or the speed, just we’ve managed to get to the finish of these races for a lot of years in a row, and it’s like how have we just kept avoiding the inevitable, which is the wrecks. Really we had a great strategy there at the end of Stage 1 to put us up front at the beginning into Stage 2, and I was able to kind of maintain good track position at that point and obviously got shuffled.
“But it worked out. But when I think about the names, and Chris is always quick to remind me of what a win would do here, where does it put you and the names that it puts you with, I consider those professors of racing like this, and I’m just a guy that’s a student, and it’s been great to be on the run that we’ve been on the last five years at this racetrack — well, more than five. It’s been eight years or so that we’ve been fantastic here. I don’t know, I just can’t fathom, being that it’s harder to win today than ever because all the cars are so close together and with the attrition, the wrecks. It’s harder to win now than ever. To win it again, I don’t know. You’re going to have to check in with me next week in Las Vegas.”