Denny Hamlin became the fourth driver in NASCAR history to win back-to-back Daytona 500s with victory in overtime, though a frightening Ryan Newman crash overshadowed the season-opening Cup race's finish.
Hamlin, who joins Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Sterling Malin in defending the race, pipped Team Penske's Ryan Blaney in a photo-finish after Newman's crash.
On the 209th and final lap of the race, Blaney bumped Newman into the lead on the back-stretch of the 2.5-mile superspeedway, with Hamlin falling down to third.
Exiting Turn 4, Blaney was then bumped by Hamlin, who collected the rear of Newman's Roush Fenway Ford Mustang, spitting the #6 into the wall.
Newman's car then flipped and was then hit by Corey Lajoie, pushing the car upside down along the track.
Medical crews were quickly on the scene to extract Newman from the wreck of the car. He was taken to hospital, with no further information available at the time of filing.
Hamlin's third victory in the Daytona 500 was secured by just 0.014 seconds from Blaney, in the longest 500 on record.
Chris Buescher took third, his best result in the Cup series since his sole win at Pocono in 2016, in the #17 Mustang.
David Ragan scooped fourth on his Rick Ware Racing debut, ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick.
In an attritional race, which was rescheduled from Sunday to Monday for just the second time after rain forced its postponement after 20 laps, just 17 of the 40 starters completing the full race distance.
Two big crashes forced red flags late in the third and final stage of the race, the first taking out most of the established runners, including seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, contesting his final Daytona 500.
The #22 Penske of Joey Logano clipped Aric Almirola's SHR Ford, in turn collecting Logano's team-mate, Brad Keselowski, who speared into the wall, triggering a chain reaction that caused the first red flag of the race to be thrown.
The likes of Martin Truex Jr, Keselowski, Johnson, and Alex Bowman were eliminated on the spot, while reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch was forced to retire his JGR Toyota Camry with mechanical problems, caused by a wall-strike after contact with Logano, soon after.
A second red flag was called when Ross Chastain, Ryan Preece, Chase Elliott and Logano made contact with two scheduled laps to go, forcing the race into overtime.
Clint Bowyer followed home SHR team-mate Harvick in sixth, ahead of superspeedway specialist Brendon Gaughan in his Beard Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro entry. LaJoie, Newman and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 10.
Stage one of the race was dominated by the Ford and Chevrolet runners, after Toyota's race-strategy had their contingent of Camry's running at the rear of the field, prompting Busch to claim the manufacturer was "forfeiting" the race.
However, the strategy allowed the Camry's to cycle through to the lead at the start of the second stage, and hold the top five positions for a majority of the 65 laps.
Elliott scooped victory in the first 65-lap segment, whilst eventual race winner Hamlin took honours in the second.
Daytona 500 result
|1||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||209|
|2||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||209|
|3||Chris Buescher||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||209|
|4||David Ragan||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||209|
|5||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||209|
|6||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||209|
|7||Brendan Gaughan||Beard Motorsports||Chevrolet||209|
|8||Corey LaJoie||Go FAS Racing||Ford||209|
|9||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||209|
|10||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||209|
|11||John Hunter Nemechek||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||209|
|12||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||209|
|13||J.J. Haley||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||209|
|14||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||209|
|15||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet||209|
|16||Brennan Poole||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||209|
|17||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||209|
|18||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||208|
|19||Matt DiBenedetto||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||207|
|20||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||206|
|21||Christopher Bell||Leavine Family Racing||Toyota||205|
|22||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||205|
|23||Joey Gase||Petty Ware Racing||Chevrolet||203|
|24||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||203|
|25||Ross Chastain||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||201|
|26||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||200|
|27||Timmy Hill||MBM Motorsports||Ford||200|
|28||Tyler Reddick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||199|
|29||Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||198|
|30||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||198|
|31||Reed Sorenson||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||192|
|32||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||186|
|33||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||184|
|34||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||184|
|35||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||184|
|36||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||183|
|37||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||174|
|38||B.J. McLeod||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||105|
|39||Quin Houff||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet||89|
|40||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||58|