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Ryan Newman is in serious condition at a local hospital after his terrifying crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500, according to Roush Fenway Racing.
The team said that doctors at Halifax Medical Center indicated that Newman’s injuries were not life-threatening.
The crash happened about a football field from the finish line with Newman leading the Great American Race. Newman lost control of his car after contact from behind with Ryan Blaney. Newman’s car went head-first into the outside wall, then flipped in the air. After flipping over, Newman’s car was hit on the driver’s side window area by Corey LaJoie’s oncoming car. That impact sent Newman’s car skidding down the track on its roof before it came to rest past the end of pit road.
“We’re grateful for the news about Ryan,” Ford’s Mark Rushbrook said in a statement. “We had been waiting for information just like everyone else, so to hear some positive news tonight is a relief. Ryan has been an important part of the Roush Fenway and Ford NASCAR program this past year and he is so respected for being a great competitor by everyone in the sport. The entire Ford family is sending positive thoughts for his recovery, but our first thoughts remain with his family and his team.”
President Donald Trump also sent his thoughts to Newman via Twitter. Trump appeared Sunday at the Daytona 500 before the race was delayed twice by rain and pushed to Monday after just 20 laps were completed.
The race was won by Denny Hamlin, who passed Blaney in the seconds after Newman crashed out of the race.
Track emergency services workers spent several minutes extricating Newman from his car as barriers were set up around the car to prevent onlookers from seeing. After Newman was removed from his car he was taken straight to Halifax.
A win on Sunday would have been the second Daytona 500 victory of Newman’s career. He won the 2008 Daytona 500 on the last lap thanks a push by then-teammate Kurt Busch.
Newman, 42, is in his second season with Roush Fenway Racing after arriving from Richard Childress Racing after the 2017 season. Newman has 18 career Cup Series wins in a full-time career that dates back to 2002 and was second in the points standings in 2014.
Throughout his career, Newman has been outspoken about the type of racing that happens at Daytona and Talladega. In 2013, he lambasted NASCAR’s inability to keep cars from flying through the air after Kurt Busch’s car landed on top of his in a crash at Talladega.
“I am doing this interview to let everybody know I'm all right,” Newman said after that 2013 crash. “They can build safer race cars, they can build safer walls. But they can't get their heads out of their asses far enough to keep them on the race track and that's pretty disappointing.”
He repeated those sentiments in 2019 ahead of the July race at Daytona. Kyle Larson’s car flipped in the spring Talladega race a season ago.
“I have been very vocal about keeping the cars on the race track. ... That is my biggest pet peeve,” Newman said. “Whatever we do needs to put on a good race but be safe for the drivers and safe for the fans. What Kyle’s car did at Talladega was unacceptable. I don't know what changes have been made, if any changes have been made, and what we will do to try to keep that from happening when we go back to Daytona but it needs to not happen.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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