As safety workers surrounded Ryan Newman’s car after a crash, Denny Hamlin was celebrating with burnouts just a few hundred feet away; He was unaware of the serious situation
Ryan Newman led the Daytona 500 off the final corner. On the 200th lap, he was just a few hundred feet shy of winning the biggest NASCAR race of the season.
Ryan Blaney was coming with a push from Denny Hamlin. Blaney went to the outside of Newman and he threw a block. Then, Blaney cut to his inside and Newman blocked again.
Those blocks were fantastic, really. But, all that crossing across the track, got the rear end sideways with Blaney pushing on his bumper.
Newman was turned into the outside wall at 200mph. He then rolled across the track and was struck by Corey LaJoie who lifted the car clear into the air.
Newman crossed the finish line, upside down. Safety officials completely surrounded the car as they tended to a very serious situation.
Related: Ryan Newman crash (Video)
Denny Hamlin was able to work around Blaney and take his 2nd Daytona 500 win, in a row. It was the second closest finish in the history of the race. The closest came in 2016 and it was also won by Hamlin.
Screens were being placed around Newman’s car to block fans from viewing that scene. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin celebrated with burnouts through the infield grass, just a few hundred feet from the crashed car of Newman.
That wasn’t a good look and fans didn’t react well to it. As Hamlin climbed from the car, he was booed.
But, the crews and the driver we’re viewing the TV coverage. They weren’t aware of how serious the situation was for Newman.
You might think that ambulances on the race track should have been the sign. But, ambulances are standard procedure, during any NASCAR crash.
After all crashes happen all the time in NASCAR and in recent years, the drivers are always alright. Just, this time, he wasn’t.
Denny Hamlin on celebrating after Ryan Newman’s crash
“I didn’t find out anything about the No. 6 wreck until essentially they told me no start/finish interview. I knew him crossing the track there, was a bad scenario in the first place,” 2020 Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin stated in the media center after the race.
Typically, tv crews will interview the race winner on the start/finish line, before a trip to victory lane. In Monday’s race, the start/finish interview was aborted.
“It’s a weird balance of excitement. But, obviously, someone’s health is bigger than any sport.”
“NASCAR has done a fantastic job with the evolution of race cars. helmet manufactures, suit manufactures and hans devices. There’s been so much development that has come a long way.”
“I always think about how blessed I was to come into the sport in 2006. When all that stuff was really being implemented. In 07-08, the Car of Tomorrow came out. And obviously, there’s a new car coming next year.”
“Before you have competition, you gotta have a car that’s safe. The sport’s been very fortunate to not have anything freak or weird happen for many years.”
“But, a lot of that is because of the constant strive to make things better and safer”
Dale Earnhardt Jr recalls the same thing happening during the death of his father, Dale Earnhardt
“That was just so unfortunate the fallout from that,” Earnhardt said of celebrations by the No. 11 team.
“I think back to 2001 when dad had his accident and Michael Waltrip had made it all the way to victory lane himself and celebrating what he feels like was the most incredible moment of his life and waiting on dad to walk right into that victory lane at any moment to celebrate with him.
“I think I can tell you, how that process can happen, how what happened with Denny and his team can easily happen. There’s a lot of other similar situations that are much like that to compare that to that make it understandable to what played out with Denny and his team.”
“I just can’t stop thinking about Ryan and waiting on more news and more information and when we can see him, when can we physically talk to Ryan and put our own eyes on him and get a chance to see how he’s doing,” Earnhardt stated via NASCAR America.
Joe Gibbs apologized for the post-race clebrations
In victory lane, Joe Gibbs issued an apology on behalf of his team. He went further in the media center:
“When everything happened at the end of the race, I knew that there was a wreck. But, I never even focused over there,” team owner Joe Gibbs stated in the media center.
“I was focused on our car and then everybody started celebrating. Somebody might have saw us and said, ‘Man, these guys are celebrating when there’s a serious issue going on.’ “
“I apologize to everyone. But, we really didn’t know. We got in the winner’s circle and that’s when people told us.”
“I just makes it so hard. We’re a close nit community. If you think about all the wrecks we’ve had over the years, some of them looked so serious. We’ve been so fortunate.”
“I know that for a lot of us that are participating in sports and being in things where there’s some risk. In a way, that’s what some people get excited about.”
“We know what can happen. And you just don’t dream that it would happen. We’ve been so fortunate for such a long time. We’re just all praying now for the outcome of this.”
“You’re depending on the lord in a lot of ways and you’re looking up to him. I wouldn’t want to get to physiological for anybody here. But, it’s a time that we’re all searching deep.”
Newman was transported from the track to a hospital via ambulance. As of yesterday, he was awake and speaking with family.