Hamlin wins 3rd Daytona 500; Newman hospitalized ‘in serious condition’

Hamlin wins 3rd Daytona 500; Newman hospitalized ‘in serious condition’
Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne after crashing with Corey LaJoie (32) during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Source: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara/AP)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP/Gray News) — Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 for the third time when he beat Ryan Blaney to the finish line in the second-closest finish in race history.

The win for Joe Gibbs Racing came as Ryan Newman was wrecked as the leader and crossed the finish line with his car on its roof, engulfed in flames.

According to the Associated Press, safety workers rolled his car back onto its wheels before he was removed. Newman was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

A statement from NASCAR said that Newman “is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening.”

Hamlin won after two red flags and two overtimes.

He’s the first back-to-back Daytona winner since Sterling Marlin in 1995.

The race on Sunday was postponed a day for just the second time in 62 years after it rained moments after Trump’s ceremonial pace lap.

He gave thousands of fans a flyover of Air Force One and then rode onto the track in the presidential motorcade as the audience roared with delight.

But his presence brought heightened security and long lines, and the mood soured when the race was delayed.

The last time the 500 was postponed was 2012, and the bulk of fans tend not to return after postponements.

Trump was the second sitting president to attend the race. George W. Bush was the first. Like Trump, he also attended the race during a presidential election year.

Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush visited the track, but during races other than the Daytona 500.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.