A wild ending to Monday's 62nd running of the Daytona 500 featured a scary accident involving driver Ryan Newman near the finish line. As Denny Hamlin celebrated his win in NASCAR's marquee season-opening race, Newman was quickly transported to Halifax Medical Center. He is in serious condition, but his injuries are not life threatening, according to a statement from Roush Fenway Racing.
In the final stretch of the race, Newman was leading the pack until he was bumped from behind by Ryan Blaney. The contact sent Newman crashing into the wall before another driver collided with the driver's side of the Newman's vehicle, sending Newman's No. 6 airborne before it came crashing to a halt upside-down on the side of the track.
The car briefly caught on fire before it was extinguished by track personnel. Newman needed to be extracted from the vehicle before being loaded into an ambulance and transported to a nearby hospital. According to WFTV, black screens were put up around the crash site to keep fans from seeing Newman get pulled out of the car and put on a stretcher.
Newman, 42, is a 19-year NASCAR veteran who currently runs the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. He won the 2008 Daytona 500.
"The finish, the history, that's all great. One day it will all sink in. But right now all I'm thinking about is Ryan Newman," Hamlin told ESPN.
Many other current and former drivers offered support and well wishes for Newman:
Big prayers for Newman— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 18, 2020
This shit is real. We’re all on the road together doing what we love. Please let @RyanJNewman be ok here. 🙏— Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) February 18, 2020
Dang I hope Newman is ok. That is worst case scenerio and I had nowhere to go but smoke.— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie) February 18, 2020
Further updates will be posted as they become available, but the scary scene left a somber cloud over what should have been a joyous and exciting finish to one of racing's most popular annual events. It was the second-closest finish ever at the Daytona 500.
This story was originally published on CBS Sports at 10:11 a.m. ET on Feb. 18, 2020.