NASCAR Had Paramedic in Newman’s Car 35 Seconds After Crash

February 22, 2020 Updated: February 22, 2020
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LAS VEGAS—A paramedic was treating Ryan Newman inside his car 35 seconds after the ruined and flaming vehicle came to rest after a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.

NASCAR gave a brief timeline Saturday of the response to Monday night’s airborne accident that was so startling many drivers feared him dead. Newman hit the wall, his car went airborne, was hit by another car to send it airborne a second time, rolled upside down and landed on its roof in flames.

NASCAR said the first fire responder arrived 19 seconds after Newman’s car stopped. A trauma doctor was at the car 33 seconds later and a paramedic entered two seconds later.

Newman was then treated for more than three minutes, NASCAR said. It took roughly two minutes to overturn the car, during which time Newman was still being assisted and the treatment continued as the roof was cut away. The 42-year-old driver was removed from the car 15 minutes, 40 seconds after it halted.

NASCAR revealed its findings from a review that began Tuesday when the cars of Newman and Corey LaJoie, the driver who hit Newman’s car on the driver side, arrived at the North Carolina Research and Development Center.

NASCAR said it could not discuss Newman’s health, citing federal privacy laws.

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and his daughters
NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and his daughters, Brooklyn Sage, left, and Ashlyn Olivia, at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Roush Racing via AP)

Despite the violence of the crash, the Indiana native nicknamed “Rocketman” walked out of a Florida hospital holding the hands of his two young daughters some 42 hours later.

Ross Chastain is scheduled to drive Newman’s No. 6 Ford on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Newman’s 649-consecutive race streak dating to the 2002 Daytona 500 will end.

Newman has yet to speak publicly and his team has said nothing about his injuries or his status. Roush said he was in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries late Monday night, but Newman progressed so quickly he left the hospital faster than the team could post updates.

Several competitors have talked or texted with Newman and said his wit remained intact, with many making lighthearted jokes at his expense. Many marveled how one of the toughest guys in the garage seemingly walked away unscathed, needing nothing more than his daily fix of Krispy Kreme donuts to get out of the hospital.

NASCAR also wants to speak to Newman. Its crash report was limited because it wants feedback from the driver, an engineering graduate from Purdue University.

Ryan Newman waves before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race
Ryan Newman waves before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Feb. 16, 2020. (Chris O’Meara, /AP/File)

Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 winner, has has been involved in several rolls at superspeedways. He has been outspoken about safety and has been fined by NASCAR for criticism it deemed excessive.

Newman also advocated for more support in the cockpit for protection during rollovers. A device now referred to as the “Newman bar” is standard.

“Ryan’s feedback in this will be key,” NASCAR executive Steve O’Donnell said.

By Jenna Fryer