Denny Hamlin celebrates with his crew after winning the 62nd annual Daytona 500 on Monday night at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. It marked his third win at the race. Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Defending champion Denny Hamlin captured his second straight victory in double overtime at the Daytona 500 on Monday night at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Hamlin's win came after a devastating crash involving Ryan Newman on the last lap. Newman was the race leader when he was bumped by Ryan Blaney just before the finish line, sending him into the outside wall and into an airborne spin while upside down.
Newman's car flipped several times and crossed the finish line on its roof and in ninth place before coming to a stop. According to the Fox Sports broadcast, he was removed from the car and taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center, according to a statement released by Roush Fenway Racing on Monday night. Doctors indicated that his injuries were serious but not life-threatening.
"We pushed Newman there to the lead and then we got a push from [Hamlin]," Blaney said. "I was committed to just pushing [Newman] to the win and having a Ford win it and got the bumpers hooked up wrong. It looked bad."
Hamlin's 0.014-second margin of victory marked the second-closest finish in Daytona 500 history. His win came after only the second rain postponement in 62 years, two red flag stoppages and two overtimes.
With the victory, Hamlin earned his third career win at the "Great American Race." He joined six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more races at Daytona.
Hamlin also became the fourth driver in NASCAR history to earn back-to-back wins at the Daytona 500, joining Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95).
However, Hamlin's celebration in victory lane was subdued because of the fiery crash late in the final lap.
"I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are and number one, we are praying for Ryan," Hamlin said.
Blaney finished in second place, followed by Chris Buescher, David Ragan and Kevin Harvick.
Denny Hamlin celebrates in Victory Lane after winning his second consecutive Daytona 500 on Monday. Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo