NASCAR driver Ryan Newman has been released from the hospital after a terrifying last-second crash Monday at the Daytona 500.
According to a Tuesday afternoon statement from Newman’s Roush Fenway Racing team, the 42-year-old stock car driver was “awake and speaking with family and doctors” at nearby Halifax Medical Center.
“Ryan and his family have expressed their appreciation for the concern and heartfelt messages from across the country,” Roush Fenway said. “They are grateful for the unwavering support of the NASCAR community and beyond.”
Update on Ryan Newman: pic.twitter.com/TdJHDZ3O7O
— Roush Fenway (@roushfenway) February 18, 2020
Then on Wednesday, Roush Fenway announced via Twitter that Newman had been released from the hospital.
“Ryan Newman has been treated and released from Halifax Medical Center,” the team tweeted.
Ryan Newman has been treated and released from Halifax Medical Center pic.twitter.com/J0twhGgQm7
— Roush Fenway (@roushfenway) February 19, 2020
Newman had secured the lead in the final lap Monday and was just a few hundred feet from the finish line at the time of the devastating accident, The Associated Press reported.
Pushing the inside of the track in those closing moments, Newman worked to keep a closing Ryan Blaney in the rear-view when the two locked bumpers, sending Newman’s No. 6 Ford Mustang into the wall into a high-speed tailspin.
The jarring impact flipped Newman’s car, sending it right back into the center of the track, where it would be struck directly on the driver’s side door by an oncoming Corey Lajoie, who was unable to turn and avoid the impact.
Newman’s No. 6 Mustang barreled airborne down the track, eventually skidding over the finish line on its back as it began to catch fire.
According to the AP, the Daytona International Speedway safety crew worked for 8 minutes under the cover of temporary black screens to roll the car back over and cut the seat belts to remove Newman.
Upon the driver’s admission to the hospital, a public statement was released indicating the injuries stained during the crash were not life threatening, but that Newman was in “serious condition.” No further details were provided.
NASCAR is reporting that Ryan Newman is in serious condition but his injuries are considered not life threatening after this major crash at the Daytona 500. pic.twitter.com/ze3xo1x5gY
— Jake Boswell (@JakeBoswellNews) February 18, 2020
Here’s the end of the Daytona 500 – Denny Hamlin wins his third but the real story is Ryan Newman, who ended up on his roof after a scary crash at the finish. pic.twitter.com/m4dSy1Jrvx
— Zach Harig (@FOX17Zach) February 18, 2020
The Daytona 500, which serves as the NASCAR Cup Series season-opener, is notorious for a number of late-race crashes, with the tragic 2001 accident that took the life of stock car racing legend Dale Earnhardt most notable among them.
Several outlets have begun to suggest it may have been improved safety measures implemented by NASCAR in response to Earnhardt’s death that prevented a fatality Monday night.
Addressing a plethora of concerns in the post-Earnhardt era, NASCAR has taken numerous steps to improve racer safety in recent decades by introducing energy-absorbing walls to its race tracks and investing in a handful of additional features for both vehicles and helmets.
The survivor of more than a handful of crashes, however, it remains to be seen whether Newman will express the same confidence in the league’s safety management systems in light of this crash.
A longtime advocate for increased driver safety, Newman lobbied NASCAR in 2009 to add new structural stability elements to vehicle frames.
The effort resulted in the introduction of a metal reinforcement, known as the “Newman Bar,” across the front window of the league’s Generation 6 cars, Pop Culture reported.
According to WCNC, Newman’s public concerns regarding the frequency with which NASCAR’s Gen 6 vehicles go airborne have been addressed with only minor alterations — none of which have been able to keep cars on the track.
“[NASCAR] can build safer race cars, they can build safer walls,” Newman told reporters at Talladega in 2013. “But they can’t get their heads out of their a– far enough to keep them on the race track, and that’s pretty disappointing.”
“My issue has and always has been, because I seem to be the reciprocate of whatever airborne disease that we have in NASCAR, is that either somebody lands on me or I land on somebody,” he added.
“We’ve proven it’s not safe for the fans,” Newman said.
“It’s frustrating, and I think I voiced my frustration very fairly. I could have said a lot more and took a penalty, but I chose not to. I think I took a pretty high road.”
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