Denny Hamlin won his third Daytona 500 on Monday, becoming the first driver since 1995 to win “The Great American Race” in consecutive years, ESPN reports.
Hamlin is now one of six drivers to have won the event three or more times. Unfortunately, the win was marred by a scary crash in the final lap that sent driver Ryan Newman to the hospital. “I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are, and #1, we are praying for Ryan,” Hamlin said after the race. Newman had been in the lead when his car veered off to the side and flipped several times before it burst into flames, crossing the finish line on its back. The driver was immediately taken to the nearby Halifax Medical Center, where he is said to be in serious condition, but his injuries are not considered life-threatening.
That wasn’t the only big crash on Monday, as earlier on lap 184, driver Aric Almirola clipped the back bumper of Brad Keselowski, who then hit the wall and bounced into other racers, impacting 19 drivers and taking out nearly half the field.