One of the most thrilling finishes in Daytona 500 history was tainted by a horrific crash that occurred in the final lap.
The scene played out on live television as several cars were angling for position before frontrunner Ryan Newman's car was spun sideways and catapulted into the air.
While inverted, Newman's vehicle was then struck on the driver's side by another car running at speeds up to 200 mph.
The crash sent Newman's car skidding forward on its roof and catching fire when it came to rest near the infield of the track.
Fans watched anxiously as fire and rescue crews had to turn Newman's car right side up before removing its top to extricate him from the wreckage. As is customary in these kinds of crash rescues, large black partitions were used to shield both media and spectators from seeing the driver.
Speculation and rumors were rampant on social media for several hours before NASCAR issued a formal statement confirming that Newman had survived the violent collision with non-life-threatening injuries.
For several moments during the rescue, the winning team of driver Denny Hamlin celebrated their second straight Daytona 500 victory, unaware of the drama unfolding half a track away. Team owner Joe Gibbs later apologized for confusion and joined the rest of the sports world in offering thoughts and prayers for Newman.