Denny Hamlin won his second straight Daytona 500 Monday night, but there wasn't much to celebrate following the checkered flag.
Hamlin's victory took an immediate backseat to the condition of Ryan Newman after Newman's car slammed into the wall during the final lap, flipped in the air and skidded upside down across the finish line.
Newman was taken to Halifax Medical Center by ambulance, where he was treated for injuries a NASCAR statement called "not life-threatening."
"Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center," the statement said. "He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life-threatening. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time. We appreciate your patience and cooperation and we will provide more information as it becomes available."
Newman took a brief lead on the final lap, passing Hamlin on the inside with help from fellow Ford driver Ryan Blaney.
Hamlin, who was in third place, tapped Blaney from behind, which caused Blaney to clip Newman and send Newman crashing driver's side into the wall.
Newman's car flipped, then was sent airborne by Corey LaJoie who said following the race that he couldn't see Newman's car in front of him because of the smoke.
"Dang I hope Ryan is ok," LaJoie posted on Twitter. "That is worst case scenario and I had nowhere to go but (into the) smoke."
Hamlin raced across the line to win his third overall Daytona 500, becoming the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1995 to win back-to-back Daytona 500s.
"It's a weird balance of excitement and happiness for yourself, but someone's health and their family is bigger than any win in any sport," Hamlin said. "We are just hoping for the best."
Chase Elliott took the first stage of the Daytona 500, which was postponed until Monday because of heavy rain on Sunday.
Elliott earned the serendipitous Stage 1 victory following a crash between pole-sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and William Byron.
But Elliott's momentum was short-lived, as Hamlin took control during the second stage. Then, Elliott was penalized after Martin Truex Jr. hit Elliott's fuel can, which was stuck to his car and fell onto pit lane.Elliott's hopes took a final dash in the final laps when Ross Chastain tried to make a pass before stalling and slamming straight into Ryan Preece, whose car turned sideways and triggered a multi-car crash that included Elliott and sent the Dawsonville native tumbling into 17th place, where he finished.