NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, who suffered a serious crash during the Daytona 500 event on Monday, is awake and talking but still hospitalized in serious condition, his family confirmed.
He remains under medical care at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona, Florida, the statement said. “He is awake and speaking with family and doctors,” the family wrote in a statement carried by his racing team, Roush Fenway.
The family said it appreciates the heartfelt messages and concerns after Newman’s crash, and they’re “grateful for the unwavering support” of NASCAR.
The 42-year-old Newman’s vehicle attempted to overcome two other drivers but it flipped, rolled, and was hit by another car before it slid across the finish line upside down, with sparks flying.
About two hours after the crash, Roush Fenway Racing said he is in “serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening.”
“Safety has come a long way in this sport,” four-time NASCAR champion and Fox Sports announcer Jeff Gordon said after Newman was taken to a hospital. “But sometimes we are reminded that it is a very dangerous sport.”
The race was ultimately won by driver Denny Hamlin, who said that after he won: “I knew something was up at that point so I drove into victory lane and they said there was a serious injury with Ryan [Newman].”
“You think about someone’s well-being or someone’s health as obviously being way more important, than any sporting event you could win,” Hamlin told Dan Patrick on his show, according to Newsweek. “You know, we’re out there for entertainment purposes, Ryan’s [Newman] got two daughters and I’ve got two daughters myself, so you definitely can relate, and you definitely think about them and their family during that time.”
Newman’s crash also drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who wrote on Twitter: “Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave NASCAR driver.”
After the race ended, Newman’s racing team called on people to stop speculating on his injuries. “We ask that out of respect for privacy that you please do not speculate on Ryan Newman’s condition until an official statement has been issued by @NASCAR, @FordPerformance, or @RoushFenway racing,” they wrote in a Twitter post.