Hamlin claims Daytona 500 title after fiery last-lap crash

By  | 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Denny Hamlin has become the first driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500s since Sterling Marlin in 1994 and ’95.

Hamlin joined six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more Daytona 500s. This victory came after just the second rain postponement in 62 years, a pair of red flag stoppages and two overtimes.

As Hamlin went door-to-door with Ryan Blaney for the finish, Ryan Newman took a wild ride along the track when he was crashed trying to hold onto the lead. Newman's car flipped several times and was engulfed in flames as it crossed the finish line on its roof.

Newman was taken by ambulance to a hospital. NASCAR later reported his condition to be serious but that doctors have indicated that his injuries are not life-threatening.

The 0.014 margin of victory was the second closest in race history.

Chris Buescher finished third, followed by Dave Ragan and Kevin Harvick.