Daytona 500

Cade Clark, Staff Writer

The 61st Daytona 500, also known as The Great American Race, took place February 16,  and made a thrilling start to the racing season, which ended in a fiery last lap crash.

The Daytona 500 is a five hundred mile race that is held every year at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is the first race of NASCAR’s thirty six race season. Winning the Daytona 500 is one of the most prestigious accomplishments for any NASCAR driver. 

This year the race was delayed due to rainy weather. It was also the second time in history that the president attended the Great Race. President Trump was the second president in US history to attend the Daytona 500. George W. Bush, and was the first president to be the race’s grand marshal. 

“The Daytona 500 is the legendary display of roaring engines, soaring spirits and the American skill, speed and power that we’ve been hearing about for so many years,” President Trump told the fans before the race began.

The race was eventful from the first lap to the last. On the last lap, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman went airborne in a crash as his car rolled, flipped, got hit by another car, and hit a wall. His car soon caught fire as it rolled upside down across the finish lane placing him ninth at the end of the race. He was then pulled out by emergency service members and transported him to the hospital. 

Although driver Denny Hamlin finished first in his Toyota, most of the attention was on Ryan Newman.

Thankfully, after days without knowing the condition of Newman, he was released from the hospital with no serious injuries. Although he does have a head injury, he said he looks forward to getting right back behind the wheel.