Ryan Newman Says Daytona 500 Crash Gave Him Head Injury, Will Return to Racing

February 23, 2020 Updated: February 23, 2020
FONT BFONT SText size

NASCAR star Ryan Newman confirmed he suffered a head injury during a crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones. I did sustain a head injury for which I’m currently being treated. The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Despite surviving a near-fatal crash, Newman said he’ll return to the sport.

Epoch Times Photo
Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, crashes and flips behind them during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Feb. 17, 2020. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

“I have spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the No. 6 car will be waiting and ready for my return. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Ford,” he said.

Newman also thanked his teammates, competitors, and fans. “Thank you everyone for the unparalleled concern and unwavering support. And to the media, who has acted with such respect and class during this time,” he remarked.

Newman was hospitalized Monday night after crashing into several vehicles as well as the barrier before skidding upside down past the finish line. Newman was extracted from the wreck and was immediately taken to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida. About two days later, he walked out of the hospital.

There is no time-table for Newman’s return to racing, said Roush Fenway.

“He has expressed unequivocally that this is where he wants to be and he wants to be back in a race car,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark.

The accident drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who wrote on Feb. 17: “Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave NASCAR driver.”

When it was revealed that Newman’s injury wasn’t serious, a number of his fellow NASCAR competitors reacted.

“This is so awesome!!” driver Kurt Busch wrote on Twitter. “Two things I’ve taken away from this: 1) There will always be risk involved in our sport. 2) The safety advancements NASCAR has made are incredible.”

NASCAR Daytona 500 Auto Racing
Rescue workers remove Ryan Newman from his car after he was involved in a wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2020. (David Graham/AP Photo)

“This is awesome,” Austin Dillon wrote on Twitter. “Thank you Jesus.”

Driver Corey LaJoie said he was thankful to hear about Newman’s recovery. In the race and crash, his vehicle was not able to move out of the way of Newman’s car after it hit the wall.

“While I was down there I did send up a ‘thank you Jesus for your hand of protection’ prayer and at that moment I had no idea who I hit or the severity of it,” LaJoie wrote on Instagram. “I’m hearing very optimistic things on Ryan’s condition so your prayers are working guys, keep it rolling.”