NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs apologized on Monday for his team’s Daytona 500 celebration that took place just moments after a driver was involved in a fiery crash at the finish line and rushed to the hospital.
Gibbs — speaking in the Victory Lane at the end of the race — apologized on behalf of his driver Denny Hamlin, saying Hamlin did not know the extent of the crash of driver Ryan Newman.
He added that he and his driver were not focused on the crash, but focused on the car that was winning the race and did not realize how bad the crash was.
“I apologize to everybody, but we really didn’t know,” Gibbs said at a media event after the race.
“We got in the winner’s circle and that’s when people told us later on in the winner’s circle.”
Newman was rushed to a hospital after his race car flipped and was launched into the air in a fiery car crash near the finish line of the Daytona 500. His condition was not immediately known.
He was jockeying for position with eventual winner Hamlin and Ryan Blaney, when his No. 6 car spun into the wall, flipped onto its roof and was then hit by Corey LaJoie’s vehicle.
Newman’s car flew into the air before sliding across the track upside down and bursting into flames.