Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 but only after Ryan Newman’s horrific crash and some fans are upset by his reaction to it.
Newman is in serious condition, but his injuries are not life-threatening, NASCAR announced on Monday night after the crash. The statement read, “Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. 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.”
However, all some fans could write about was Denny Hamlin. Some fans were upset that, after Hamlin won the race, he did a victory lap, NASCAR allowed it, and the network aired this celebration. Meanwhile, it was, at that point, unclear whether Ryan Newman was even alive. This struck some as unseemly.
“What was more frightening was Denny Hamlin’s victory lap of sorts as you can clearly see in the background track workers, emergency crew and others working on Ryan Newman and his car…Fox should have cut away from that and focused on Newman instead,” wrote another fan.
Here’s what you need to know:
Hamlin Says He Didn’t Realize How Severe the Crash Was at First
The owner of Joe Gibbs Racing apologized for Hamlin’s celebration. “Joe Gibbs reiterates his team was completely unaware of the severity of the Ryan Newman wreck. They found out in Victory Lane and immediately became concerned. #Daytona500 #NASCAR,” journalist Joe Alba of SpecSports360 wrote on Twitter.
He also indicated that Hamlin says he, too, was not aware. “Denny Hamlin says he was not aware of the severity of the Ryan Newman wreck until after he celebrated and was told no on-track interview. Said he did not personally see the second major contact,” Alba wrote.
“Denny Hamlin says a person’s health is more important than a win. Says he is praying for Ryan Newman,” he added.
In the above video, Denny said, “I didn’t see the contact the other car had with him when he was in the air.”
Some fans defended Hamlin though, saying that sometimes drivers aren’t fully aware of what else occurred around them. Explained one fan, “In my opinion, Denny Hamlin really is not at fault as much as people think, yes he did celebrate instead of checking on Newman, but I do not think he knew it was that serious of an incident that it turned out to be.”
Another fan wrote: “I don’t like Denny Hamlin but it’s totally unfair to criticize him about celebrating after the race. The team had their headsets off and didn’t know the severity until they got to victory lane. If anything criticize Fox for shoving mics in drivers faces. Blaney was clearly upset.”