A terrifying wreck has marred the end of NASCAR’s Daytona 500, with race leader Ryan Newman hospitalised after crashing on the last lap.
As Newman’s car crashed behind them, Denny Hamlin beat Ryan Blaney to the finish as the two slammed doors while racing to the line.
Crews worked for minutes after the crash to extricate Newman from the car and Fox reported that Newman would be taken directly to a hospital.
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Newman got hit directly on the driver’s side of his car as it was upside down after it flipped over.
He was blocking Blaney as they came to the finish line and got turned into the wall before the car went upside down.
“Number one, we’re praying for Ryan,” Hamlin said in victory lane. He had initially celebrated the win in the moments after crossing the finish line but was subdued in victory lane.
An update on Newman’s condition was provided several hours after the end of the race.
NASCAR said in a statement that doctors did not consider the driver’s condition to be life-threatening.
“Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Centre,” the statement read.
“He is in a serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life-threatening.”
Fans fear for Newman after horror smash
The mood at the end of the race went from joyous to sombre quickly, as the seriousness of the impact on Newman’s car registered with fans and drivers.
Race winner Hamlin had been celebrating his victory before the extent of the impact was relayed to him.
Many took to social media to send their thoughts and prayers to the stricken racer.
Lifting up Ryan Newman in prayer right now and I ask you all to do the same. If you haven’t seen the crash yet — it was beyond terrifying. Pray for his family.— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) February 18, 2020
Man. I’m just sick after seeing that Ryan Newman wreck. Hope he’s ok.— Mandy Mitchell (@MandyWRAL) February 18, 2020
Absolutely awful crash. Praying for Ryan Newman #Daytona500— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) February 18, 2020
Speechless after tuning in to watch the end of the #Dayton500.— Travis Eldridge (@tgeldrid) February 18, 2020
Prayers to Ryan Newman.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an analyst as visibly shaken as Jeff Gordon at the end of the broadcast. I hope it’s better than it seems.
Massive pile-up takes out 20 cars
The crash to end the race was one of many that filled the race’s final laps.
A huge crash took out nearly 20 cars with just fewer than 20 laps to go.
It started near the front of the field when Logano bumped Aric Almirola forward into Brad Keselowski. The contact put Keselowski into the wall and sent Almirola spinning in front of the field.
Drivers like Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Matt DiBenedetto and Bubba Wallace were all collected.
The crash happened just moments after Kyle Busch pulled off the pace after his car started smoking.
Busch’s engine had malfunctioned and he was able to limp around the track after the crash but unable to continue when the race went back green.
Two crashes followed that one. A crash between Reed Sorenson and Timmy Hill set up a restart with four scheduled laps to go and another big crash with less than two scheduled laps to go came when Ross Chastain and Ryan Preece made contact entering turn 1 while racing for fourth.
That wasn’t the last crash, either. Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell crashed on the ensuing restart to set up the final two-lap race to the end.
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