Newman, 42, was leading the signature NASCAR race in the final turn, when his No. 6 Ford Mustang crashed into a wall, flipped over, landed upside down, and burst into flames. The vehicle then skidded across the finish line with flames shooting from the sides.
Photos and video from the scene showed extensive damage to the car as rescue crews turned it onto its tires and gingerly extricated Newman from the wreckage, erecting black partitions around the wreck to shield fans from the scene.
Roush Fenway racing released a statement this evening saying Newman’s injuries are not life threatening.
“Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening,” the statement said. “We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time.”
Denny Hamlin won the race, making history with his second straight Daytona 500 victory, and his third win in five years. Newman’s car slid upside down across the finish line, giving him a fourth-place finish after he had been in the lead into the last lap.
NASCAR did not hold the traditional victory lane party for Hamlin because of Newman’s crash.
Today’s accident occurred 19 years after Dale Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001.