With the car of Ryan Newman sliding upside-down trailing sparks behind him, Denny Hamlin joined elite company on Monday night in the second-closest finish in Daytona 500 history.
Hamlin beat Ryan Blaney to the finish line at Daytona International Speedway by .014 seconds, and while the driver of the No. 11 celebrated with a burnout on the infield grass, the emergency crew worked to extricate Newman from his No. 6 Ford, which came to rest on its roof at the end of the tri-oval.
Hamlin—unaware of Newman’s predicament when he started his burnout—went to a subsequent subdued Victory Lane celebration as the winner of two straight Daytona 500s and three of the last five, tying him for third with Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon in number of victories in the Great American Race.
Newman was helped from his car and taken by ambulance directly to nearby Halifax Medical Center. In a statement from Roush Fenway Racing read later by Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, Newman’s condition was described as serious, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
In the rain-delayed event that proved to be the longest Daytona 500 in history (209 laps, 522.5 miles), Newman held the lead off Turn 4 at the end of the second and final overtime. Newman blocked the charging Team Penske Ford of Blaney, and contact between their two cars launched Newman’s car over the hood of Corey LaJoie’s Ford.
The No. 6 Ford landed on its roof and slid Across the finish line toward Turn 1, after Hamlin—in the only Toyota still on the lead lap—edged Blaney by inches.
“Yeah, I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are,” was Hamlin’s first thought after climbing from his car. “But number one, we’re praying for Ryan. Worked really well with Ryan through this whole race, and obviously he got turned right there.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
Well nobody had Denny Hamlin as their pick to win the 2020 Daytona 500. Therefore, this award will go back into the cabinet til next Sunday at Las Vegas.
THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS
As the title of this post reflects, Carole, aka Rudy, was the player who scored the most points when the checkered flag flew at Daytona. Rudy was riding in William Clyde Elliott, Jr’s copilot seat Sunday, and racked up a nifty 34 points!
Doing nearly as well this week was Carlton The Doorman, who had all of his marbles in the marble sack of Freaky Fast Kevin Harvick. “The Closer” produced 32 points for The Doorman this week.
Meanwhile, Snoopy Dawn put 28 points into her 1st Segment pot. Snoopy had hitched her wagon to the trailer hitch of Ryan Newman at Daytona. Newman rewarded her with 28 points!
Both Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head and Bernie The Bay Area Bandit was working with Young Money at Daytona. Kyle Larson deposited 27 points into their 1st segment bank!
Rounding out the to five this week is Linda The Cookie Mom and Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff. Both players were rooting on Alex Bowman this week. Bowman The Showman dropped 22 points into their buckets.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
This week Edie The Las Vegas Super Star decided that she would spot the rest of the field a ton of points. The Super Star was all in for “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski, but only was able to add 1 microscopic point to start off this segment! So The Vegas Super Star gets to be the first inhabitant The Outhouse of the 2020 season and she has the ability to begin decorating her new digs!
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT, AND LET’S GO RACING!