However, the health of Ryan Newman overshadowed the result.
"The finish, the history, that's all great," Hamlin said in a postrace interview, per ESPN's Ryan McGee. "One day it will all sink in. But right now all I'm thinking about is Ryan Newman."
Hamlin held off Ryan Blaney on the final lap in what was the second-closest finish (0.014 seconds) in race history. Newman was briefly in the lead before contact from Blaney sent him into the wall and airborne. Hamlin surged ahead of Blaney as Newman's overturned No. 6 car skidded to a stop.
Fox's Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy provided an update on Newman's status after the race:
As track personnel tended to Newman, Hamlin enjoyed what was a subdued celebration given the circumstances:
Team owner Joe Gibbs addressed the crowd and said the Joe Gibbs Racing members were unaware of the severity of Newman's crash when Hamlin was celebrating:
Hamlin later took to social media to address the matter himself:
Denny Hamlin @dennyhamlin
First a foremost I want to give well wishes and prayers to @RyanJNewman. I had absolutely NO IDEA of the severity of the crash until I got to victory lane. There’s very little communication after the finish and i had already unhooked my radio. It’s not anyone’s fault. 🙏Rocket
Hamlin is now tied with Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett and Gordon for the third-most wins in Daytona 500. Richard Petty has the all-time record with seven.
The NASCAR Cup Series moves to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400 on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.