Denny Hamlin became the fourth driver in Daytona 500 history to win in back-to-back years by crossing the finish line first Monday.
The driver of the No. 11 car beat out Ryan Blaney in a chaotic finish in which Ryan Newman spun out and crossed the finish line upside down following contact out of the final turn.
Hamlin emerged from a final stretch of The Great American Race in which a handful of wrecks took out some of the best cars from the first two stages.
Hamlin edged out Blaney by 0.014 seconds, which is the second smallest margin of victory in race history. The 39-year-old won by the tightest margin in 2016 over Martin Truex Jr.
Daytona 500 Results
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Chris Buescher
4. David Ragan
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Brendan Gaughan
8. Corey Lajoie
9. Ryan Newman
10. Kyle Larson
Newman and Blaney pushed to the front of the field out of the final turn, with Hamlin behind the pair in third.
After Blaney tapped Newman, whose car flipped and also made contact with Corey Lajoie's vehicle, Hamlin made a pass on the outside to make his third trip to Victory Lane at the Daytona 500.
Hamlin went through a subdued celebration with his team due to the concern over Newman's well-being.
The 2020 Daytona 500 champion was quick to ask about Newman's status rather than discuss his achievements, per ESPN's Ryan McGee:
Blaney detailed the crash from his perspective once he got out of his car, per Performance Racing Network:
Newman was removed from the No. 6 car by the medical staff and taken to a local hospital, per Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass:
The field of contenders was trimmed with every wreck in the final 20 laps, starting with one that collected Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and plenty of others.
Busch was either in the lead or near the front after the start of the second stage, but he ended up in the largest wreck, which pushed his winless streak at Daytona to 15.
The 2019 NASCAR champion detailed his heartbreak, while also referencing Dale Earnhardt's long struggle to win the Daytona 500, per Performance Racing Network:
After an extended layoff to clean off the track, Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain were involved in another accident.
Michael McDowell and Clint Bowyer were the next cars to be removed from the race due to an accident during the first attempt to restart in overtime.
McDowell noted to The Athletic's Jeff Gluck that he was attempting to get out of the way of the contact:
Seventeen cars finished on the lead lap, with Hamlin becoming the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1994 and 1995 to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough were the first two racers to achieve the feat.
Hamlin joins Petty, Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon as three-time champions of the event.
Statistics obtained from NASCAR.com.