DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Joe Gibbs apologized after his driver Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 on Monday, just after Ryan Newman's fiery crash that sent him to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The former Washington Redskins head coach and owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, who recently was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, said his team did not know how bad Ryan Newman's crash was until after they were in the winner's circle and given the trophy.
"The finish, the history, that's all great. One day it will all sink in. But right now all I'm thinking about is Ryan Newman," Hamlin said in an interview with ESPN's Sports Center after the race.
Hamlin beat Ryan Blaney to the finish line in the second-closest finish in race history, but the win for Joe Gibbs Racing came as Newman was wrecked as the leader and crossed the finish line with his car on its roof, engulfed in flames.
As the broadcast came to a close by the top of the 8 p.m. hour on the east coast, announcers on Fox revealed that Newman had been taken to the hospital.
After the race had finished, crews were working to remove Newman from his car after not receiving a response on his car radio. Drivers wished Newman the best as they waited for word on this condition, speaking to the press on the side of the racetrack.
Chris Lambert, Denny Hamlin's wheelman, said in a tweet that is was his fault that the information was on Newman's crash was not relayed to the rest of the team.
"I then made a beeline down to Jason Jarrett to check on the status of Ryan. I did not communicate any more info to DH (Denny Hamlin) after that, because I was only concerned with finding out info on Ryan. That is 100% on me, and I'm extremely sorry," said Lambert in his heartfelt tweets.
The dramatic ending to Monday night's event on the track in Daytona had been pushed back a day by rain for just the second time in 62 years and Hamlin won after two red flags and two overtimes. Hamlin is the first back-to-back Daytona winner since Sterling Marlin in 1995.
Gibbs has had a very successful and achievement filled year. The three-time Super Bowl-winning NFL head coach was also honored at Super Bowl LIV recently because he is part of the NFL 100, which pays tribute to the best players and coaches in professional football over the last 100 seasons of the National Football League.