Denny Hamlin WIns Daytona 500: Results from 2020 Daytona 500, And A Big Crash With 15 Laps To Go

Denny Hamlin defended his Daytona 500 title on Monday after a wild finish on the final lap of overtime and a photo finish. Hamlin lost his lead on the final lap to Ryan Newman, who had an unbelievably nasty and fiery crash, flipping him upside down with sparks and fire emerging from his car on the back stretch.

Hamlin took the lead and won the second-closest Daytona 500 in history by edging Ryan Blaney at the finish line.

The race was postponed a day after heavy rains battered Daytona Beach, Florida, and after a big crash reduced the field in half and delayed the outcome with just 15 laps remaining.

The race had two more cautions and a red flag with under 10 laps remaining, which sent the Great American Race into what NASCAR calls overtime, a way to continue racing without finishing it under the caution flag. It's the third-consecutive Daytona 500 to go into an overtime.

It is the third Daytona 500 win for Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 FedEx Toyota. Newman also won the Great American Race with a photo finish in 2016 and overtime victory in 2019.

Hamlin became just the fourth driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500 races, and he joined some elite company. The others were Richard Petty (1973, 1974), Cale Yarborough (1983, 1984) and Sterling Marlin (1994, 1995).

Denny Hamlin Wins Daytona 500
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and crew celebrate winning the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

On Monday, Ryan Blaney finished second, followed by Chris Buescher, David Ragan, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, all who drive Fords. Here are the full results from the Daytona 500.

The race looked as if it were coming down to the wire with a heavy field, but a multi-car crash with 15 laps remaining put the race under a red flag. Announcers call it "The Big One," which typically happens at some point every year at Daytona. This year it happened in turn three with 15 laps remaining under the Daytona lights.

Brad Keselowski's No. 2 car was nudged from behind in a single-file line, and he spun out, bumping into other cars and setting off a domino effect of other cars spinning from the track into the infield grass.

"This is just aggressive racing at the end of this race," said Fox racing analyst Jeff Gordon, who won the Daytona 500 three times—1997, 1999 and 2005.

They call it The Big One.

A big crash in the front of the field in the #Daytona500.

— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 17, 2020

The crash eliminated 18 drivers, including seven-time Cup champion Jimmy Johnson, who may have raced his final Daytona 500 after announcing he would retire from full-time racing after this season.

Other drivers eliminated from Daytona 500 contention after the big wreck included Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski.

Ryan Newman was the leader coming out of that caution, with Christopher Bell and Chase Elliot behind him.

Reed Sorenson's No. 27 car crashed with eight laps remaining, sending the race into another caution. Another multi-car crash happened with two laps remaining, sending it to a red flag.

The Daytona 500 is divided into three separate stages, with 65 laps for each of the first two stages and 70 laps for the final stage of the 200-lap race on the two-and-a-half-mile Daytona International Speedway.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who drives the No. 47 Chevrolet car, was the pol sitter who led all 20 laps on Sunday before the race was postponed. Chase Elliot pulled ahead nd led 27 laps, winning the first stage. Alex Bowman started the race in the second spot in stage one behind Elliot.

Denny Hamlin won the second stage, just ahead of Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and it eventually set up a fantastic third-stage finish.

The Daytona 500 started with a big presidential send off Sunday, but the race stopped in its tracks just 20 laps into it because of heavy rains. The race will resume Monday—on Presidents Day—at 4 p.m. ET at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

2020 Daytona 500
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

President Donald Trump served as the grand marshal for the race, and he arrived in grand style. After Air Force One made a flyover, the president and first lady Melania Trump entered the track and pit areas in the presidential limousine known as "The Beast."

President Trump said the famous words, "Gentlemen, start your engines." But instead of a traditional pace car leading the way, the Trumps hopped into The Beast and led the pace lap with a presidential motorcade.

Trump was the first sitting president to serve as grand marshal since George W. Bush in 2004, but Trump was the first president to lead the pace lap.