Update on NASCAR Driver Injured in Crash

Josh Calloni, Reporter

Ryan Newman, the NASCAR driver who was involved in a horrific crash at the end of Monday’s Daytona 500, has been released from the hospital. 

The crash occurred coming to the checkered flag, when Newman went down to block the line of Ryan Blaney, who at that point, said to commit to pushing Newman to the win, as both drive for Ford, and are loyal to their manufacturers. However, Blaney bumped Newman in such a way that got his car loose, sending him sideways into the outside wall into the tracks trioval. The change in air lifted Newman’s car up, exposing his roof to the field of cars behind the leaders. He was eventually hit in the roof, right above his head, by Corey LaJoie, who had low visibility from the smoke from the initial spin. This sent Newman’s car high into the air, before coming back down on his roof, skidding on it for roughly 1000 feet, before coming to a rest. It was then that the car caught flame, but was quickly put out. Newman was initially unresponsive on his radio, and safety crews worked diligently for about 10 minutes to help him from his cars, as fans everywhere feared the worst.

“It was a scary crash, I did not think he survived for a good while after the race,” senior Dalton Ottewell.

Though it might not have seemed that way, when Newmans team, Roush Fenway Racing, released an update a day later, Newman was, “awake, alert, and talking with his family and doctors,” and was released the next day. His injuries were not very specific, but RFR announced that Newman had very minimal bleeding of the head, and no broken bones, and bruises here and there from impacts with the wall and LaJoie’s car. 

The fact that Newman survived is thanks in part to NASCARs dedication to making their cars as safe as possible. Ever since Dale Earnhardt’s fatal accident in the 2001 Daytona 500, the sport has constantly updated safety features in their cars. It’s been successful as well, as no driver has lost their live inside of a NASCAR racecar since Earnhardt. But Newman has been one of the leaders of the safety movement since his entrance into the sport in 2001. No stranger to tough accidents on the superspeedway style tracks like Daytona, he’s always pushed for slower cars to prevent accidents like this. In fact, after a scary crash in the 2009 fall Talladega race, NASCAR added a new bar to the roll cage for Newman, and dubbed it the Newman Bar. That bar in his rollcage was the one that was said to save his life in Monday’s crash, after NASCAR inspected his car closer. 

“NASCAR’s safety is insane, there isn’t an excuse for a crash like that to be survived,” senior Blake Haffer.

For now, Newman is to miss at least the next three races, and is to be replaced with Ross Chastain. At 42 years of age, his future in the sport could be up in the air, but the decision lies fully on him, according to RFR owner Jack Roush.