Ryan Newman released from hospital after Daytona 500 crash
DAYTONA BEACH — Ryan Newman didn’t walk away from the Daytona 500, but on Wednesday he walked out of Halifax Health Medical Center.
Roush Fenway Racing announced that Newman had been treated and released from the hospital, just two days after arriving via ambulance following Monday’s horrific last-lap crash at Daytona International Speedway.
Earlier Wednesday, the team released a statement that Newman was “alert and walking.” Then, less than two hours later, the driver of the No. 6 Ford was released from the hospital.
None of the releases or family tweets since Monday’s crash have said what injuries sent Newman to the hospital.
“Ryan Newman continues to show great improvement after Monday night’s last lap accident at Daytona International Speedway,” the team said.
“The veteran driver is fully alert and walking around. True to his jovial nature, he’s also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters.”
Newman’s wife, Krissie, posted a picture to Twitter shortly after the announcement of Newman standing with his two daughters in the medical center.
A picture was then posted by the team upon Newman’s release of him walking out of the hospital with his two daughters by his side.
“Ryan continues to express his appreciation for the outpouring of support from across the country,” the team said. “He and his family are grateful for the immense level of support that has been provided by the NASCAR community and beyond.”
Newman races the No. 6 Ford and was one of three stock cars jockeying for position to win Monday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500.
Newman was leading coming to the checkered flag when he got hooked from behind by Ryan Blaney. The bump was enough to send Newman spinning across the track, where he violently hit the wall, flipped upside down, and was then hit in the driver’s-side door by Corey LaJoie.
Both Newman and LaJoie’s cars burst into flames, with Newman’s No. 6 Ford finally coming to a rest, upside down, at the end of pit road.
Meanwhile, Blaney and Hamlin battled side by side to the finish line with Hamlin emerging victorious. His margin of victory was 0.014 seconds, the second closest in Daytona 500 history.
NASCAR officials were quick to respond to the situation, dousing the flames and beginning the process of getting Newman’s car flipped back over. Nearly 20 minutes after the accident, Newman was put in an ambulance and rushed to the hospital.
An emotional Blaney said after the race that he was trying to push Newman to the win.
“I don’t know. We just got the bumpers hooked up wrong and I turned him,” he said.
LaJoie said there was nowhere he could go to avoid Newman, who landed in the middle of the track just before the start/finish line.
“I was hoping he would kind of bounce off the fence to the left, but he didn’t and I hit him,” LaJoie said.
On Tuesday, the team provided two updates on Newman, saying he was “awake and speaking.”
Earlier Wednesday, Bubba Wallace, who drives the No. 43 Chevy for Richard Petty Motorsports, tweeted that Blaney was still “devastated” by the situation.
“(I) had to sit there and explain to him it could've happened to him or any of us in the field. It's RACING. Just unfortunate to be on either end of it,” Wallace said.
Eventual race-winner Denny Hamlin said he didn’t know the severity of the situation until watching a replay after the race. Even though he’s now a three-time Daytona 500 champion, the Joe Gibbs veteran was in no mood to celebrate after the race.
“I’m very fortunate to be in this place,” he said. “But we all have to bow our heads and pray for Ryan Newman. That’s the number one thing we should all be thinking about right now.”