The Daytona Disaster

February 18, 2020

By: Jeff Yoder

Cale Yarborough

“Driving a race car is like dancing with a chainsaw.”

A scary finish to a dangerous race last night…



Photo Finish: The Daytona Disaster

Photo: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Hamlin Wins Daytona 500 by 0.014 Seconds; Ryan Newman Hospitalized on Final-Lap Crash

Nearly 30 hours passed from Sunday’s start to Monday’s historic crash-filled finish at the Daytona 500. All that racing resulted in a second-straight victory for Denny Hamlin that was overshadowed by Ryan Newman’s horrific crash. Hamlin led the second restart of overtime before surrendering the lead to Newman in the final lap. Then, a photo finish with Newman airborne…

The Disaster Finish: Coming out of the final turn, Ryan Blaney (running 2nd) bumped Newman into the wall as Hamlin stole the checkered flag by 0.014 seconds — the second-closest finish in Daytona 500 history. Newman’s car flipped in front of the grandstands before safety teams rushed to remove him from the car. He was taken to a local hospital. NASCAR later revealed that Newman was in serious condition but his injuries were not life-threatening.

Hamlin has now won three of the last five Daytona 500s. He becomes the first to win back-to-back since Sterling Marlin (1994-95) and joins a list of five other drivers to win it three times (Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett, and Jeff Gordon).

Fun Fact: The two closest finishes in Daytona 500 history were both won by Denny Hamlin (2016 and 2020).

Watch Finish (FOX Sports)

Additional Reads
Sporting News: Ryan Newman Injuries ‘Not Life-Threatening’
NBC Sports: Hamlin Wins 3rd Daytona 500



The Big Ten & ACC Fight Back

Photo: Rey Del Rio / Getty Images

NCAAM Rankings Updates

It’s been a pair of Big 12 giants and mid-major darlings atop the rankings for the last month of college basketball, but the Big Ten and ACC are finally starting to fight back. With a pair of eight-game win streaks, Maryland and Penn State have regained their footing in the Top-10. Duke and Florida State have also supplanted an ACC presence, as well. Baylor and Kansas will meet this Saturday in a Big 12 clash, and the loser could open the door for a 1-seed with March’s arrival.

Men’s Top-10 (Full AP Top-25)
1. Baylor (23-1) | —
2. Gonzaga (26-1) | —
3. Kansas (22-3) | —
4. San Diego State (26-0) | —
5. Dayton (23-2) | ↑1
6. Duke (22-3) | ↑1
7. Maryland (21-4) | ↑2
8. Florida State (21-4) | —
9. Penn State (20-5) | ↑4
10. Kentucky (20-5) | ↑2

ESPN: Men’s Basketball Power Rankings & Analysis



UConn Suffers Historic Slip From Top-5

Photo: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

NCAAW Rankings Updates

For 253 consecutive weeks, UConn had been a top-five team in the AP Poll. That record may never be touched, but it came to an end on Monday as the Huskies fell out of the top five for the first time since February of 2007. The new active top-five streak belongs to South Carolina (11 weeks), and the Gamecocks keep a firm grasp of the top spot in the latest poll.

Women’s Top-10 (Full AP Top-25)
1. South Carolina (24-1) | —
2. Baylor (23-1) | —
3. Oregon (24-2) | —
4. Stanford (23-3) | ↑4
5. Louisville (23-3) | ↑4
6. UConn (21-3) | ↓1
7. Maryland (22-4) | ↑3
8. UCLA (21-3) | ↓1
9. Mississippi State (22-4) | ↓3
10. NC State (22-3) | ↓6

AP News: UConn’s Top-5 Streak Ends



Astros Attacks Continue, And They’ll Keep Coming

Photo: Elsa / Getty Images

Mike Trout Sounds Off | Sportsbooks Taking Bets on Plunkings

Spring training nears and reporters keep shoving cameras in the faces of the other 29 teams with questions about the Astros. Therefore, the quotable headlines keep coming. To summarize: Houston will be looking over their shoulder a lot this season. Mike Trout had the latest quote-drop on Monday when voicing his concern about the lack of punishment for players, and it came on the heels of a sportsbook opening bets for the number of plunkings. Yikes.

“It’s sad for baseball. It’s tough. They cheated. I don’t agree with the punishments… it was a player-driven thing. Me going up there knowing what was coming — it would be pretty fun up there.” — Angels OF Mike Trout (Yahoo! Sports)

The O/U on Astros Attacks
And as of Monday you can now bet on the continued attack on the Astros in the 2020 season. With so much animosity aimed at Houston in the last month, sportsbook William Hill set the over/under at 83.5 Astros batters hit by pitches this season. The league average last year was 66. Read More (ESPN)



The ‘Fun As Hell’ NBA All-Star Game Ending

Under the new format, players ratcheted up the intensity in the fourth quarter, giving us perhaps a more honest look at the league hierarchy and one of the most entertaining games in recent history.

Read Story (Zach Kram, The Ringer)



🏒 NHL: Kuch Saves Lightning Streak
Nikita Kucherov went five-hole in overtime to give the Lightning a 4-3 win over the Avalanche last night, extending Tampa Bay’s win streak a franchise-record 11th straight. Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point all rank top-20 in points this season. (NHL)

🏒 NHL: Mangiapane’s First Hatty
Calgary’s 23-year-old winger Andrew Mangiapane netted his first-career hat trick to lift the Flames over the Ducks (6-4). Calgary needed a five-goal third period to rally for the victory, and Mangiapane had a night he’ll never forget. (SportsNet)

⚽️ SOCCER: Man-U Wins EPL Clash
Monday’s game between Chelsea (4th) and Manchester United (7th) was even more meaningful after Manchester City’s ban. Man-U won 2-0 thanks to headers from Anthony Martial (45’) and Harry Maguire (66’). Chelsea had two goals wiped away by VAR. (Team Highlights)

🏀 NCAAB: Rock Chalk in 2020
Kansas buried Big 12 foe Iowa State on Monday night (91-71) thanks to Devon Dotson’s 29-point performance. The Jayhawks have now won 11 straight, and they have one loss in 2020 (#1 Baylor). KU faces the Bears in a 1-v-3 matchup this Saturday. (Stadium)

🏀 NCAAB: Carolina’s Collapse Continues
Another night, another epic collapse by North Carolina. The Tar Heels lost their sixth straight game by blowing a 15-point lead to Notre Dame in the final 9:09 Monday night. Irish shooter Nate Laszewski hit the game-winning 3 with 2.4 seconds left (77-76). Carolina is now 10-16 en route to their worst season in 18 years. (ACCN)

🏀 NCAAW: Another Pac-12 Thriller
The Pac-12 in women’s college basketball is loaded, and Monday gave us another must-see finish when 8th-ranked UCLA notched a come-from-behind win to beat #15 Oregon State in OT (83-74). (ESPN)



Full-Team Brawl Breaks Out at Jackson State—Prairie View A&M Game

Canucks Land Coveted Winger Tyler Toffoli in Trade With Kings

Kyrie Irving Elected NBPA Vice President to Replace Pau Gasol
(Bleacher Report)

Cavaliers Coach John Beilein Expected to Step Down Before End of Season
(Sports Illustrated)

Knicks Reportedly Targeting LaMelo Ball in 2020 NBA Draft
(CBS Sports)

LPGA Legend and 13-Time Major Champion Mickey Wright Dies at 85
(USA Today)