Newman slid across the finish line in a crumpled heap of metal, sparks flying as his vehicle skidded to a halt with fuel pouring onto the track frighteningly close to open flames.
Hamlin's celebration in victory lane was subdued in light of a terrifying crash late in the final lap that sent Ryan Newman to the hospital. They said doctors indicated Newman's injuries were non life-threatening. "We appreciate your patience and cooperation and will provide more information as it becomes available".
Runner up Ryan Blaney, who locked bumpers with Newman and turned him sideways, sounded crestfallen. Newman's No. 6 flipped onto its roof and into the path of a full-speed.
In an interview with reporters after Monday's race, Hamlin called the accident the "worst-case scenario" in a race.
Ryan Newman goes airborne after he collided with Corey LaJoie (32) on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
"NASCAR has done a fantastic job with the evolution of race cars", Hamlin said in a postrace news conference. At the time Newman's condition was unknown.
Auto racing is an inherently risky sport, and accidents such as the one at the end of the Daytona 500 serve as a reminder that each driver is putting their life on the line every weekend.
Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush visited the track, but during races other than the Daytona 500.
Austin Dillon memorably crashed into the catch fence on the final lap of the 2015 July race at Daytona and remarkably walked away unscathed. There has not been a fatality in NASCAR's elite Cup Series since 2001, but Newman's crash had everyone anxious. It allowed Newman to get past him for the lead, but the bumping in the pack led to Newman's hard turn into the wall. "I don't know what changes have been made, if any changes have been made, and what we will do to try to keep that from happening when we go back to Daytona but it needs to not happen", Newman said then.
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. Team owner Joe Gibbs repeatedly apologized for celebrating, saying the team did not realize the severity of Newman's wreck. We'll let you know everything you didn't know you needed to know about sports. Hamlin then dropped in behind Blaney and tried to get around him. I wanted to explain that to everyone.
He added: "That's what makes it so hard. We've been real fortunate".
It wasn't the first crash like this for Newman at Daytona or at another superspeedway, the Talladega track in Alabama. It's the third-consecutive Daytona 500 to go into an overtime. "I can't do it without the auto and making it capable for me to make those winning moves".
"Never good to see a wreck like that", he said.
Last Thursday, Newman announced that he and his wife Krissie were separating after being married for 16 years.
The race began Sunday but was postponed midway through because of rain.