‘The big one’: WATCH huge crash at Daytona 500 take out HALF the racers

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With just 16 laps to go in the race, a massive pile-up at NASCAR’s Daytona 500 has taken nearly half of the cars off the field, in a destructive chain reaction that smashed up some 19 vehicles.

The crash came near the tail end of the race on Monday when driver Joey Logano pushed Aric Almirola into another racer, Brad Keselowski. Of the 19 cars involved in the bang-up, Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. were unable to return to the race, though there are yet no reports of serious injury.

Just as the racers neared the finish line, driver Ryan Newman was caught up in another violent crash – with his car flipping and being T-boned by another vehicle before landing on its roof. He was removed from the field on a stretcher and taken to the hospital, but his status remains unclear. The accident prompted scores of concerned comments on social media.

Denny Hamlin, racing for Toyota in car number 11, managed to avoid the last-minute crash and walked away with the win – his second consecutive Daytona 500 victory and the third of his career.

The 500-mile, 200-lap race in Daytona kicked off on Sunday, in a ceremony led by President Donald Trump – who took a lap around the iconic track in the presidential limousine and gave an address honoring the “legendary display of roaring engines.” However, the end of the race had to be postponed for Monday due to bad weather.

Also on rt.com ‘Gentlemen, start your engines!’ Trump kicks off Daytona 500 with lap in armored limo (VIDEOS)

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