NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is alert and talking after his car was hit during the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Monday, causing a fiery wreck.
Newman remains at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida but Roush Fenway Racing confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he was ‘awake and speaking with family and doctors’.
‘Ryan and his family have expressed their appreciation for the concern and heartfelt messages from across the country,’ Roush Fenway tweeted. ‘They are grateful for the unwavering support of the NASCAR community and beyond.’
Roush Fenway said he is still under care of doctors and that they would continue to provide information as updates become available.
Ryan Newman is ‘awake and speaking to family and doctors’ following a Daytona 500 crash Monday (pictured)
Ryan (left) and his family ‘expressed their appreciation for the concern and heartfelt messages from across the country’. Roush Fenway tweeted: ‘They are grateful for the unwavering support of the NASCAR community and beyond’
Newman turned hard into the wall after getting bumped from behind by Ryan Blaney a few hundred feet from the finish line. Newman’s No. 6 Ford Mustang then flipped onto its roof, where he was helpless as he was walloped in the driver’s side by another car at 190 mph.
It sent his car spinning backwards and LaJoie, who was driving behind him, then crashed into the driver’s side of Newman’s vehicle.
Newman’s Mustang flipped multiple times and began spitting out flames. He was pulled from the wreckage in front of nervous crowds afterwards and was immediately rushed to the hospital.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
President Trump tweeted on Monday night that he was ‘praying’ for the 42-year-old driver.
On Tuesday morning during an interview with Good Morning America, LaJoie said he it was ‘very scary’ what had happened.
He was still under care of doctors at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona, Florida on Tuesday afternoon
After Newman’s vehicle landed after flipping the first time, it was then struck directly by No. 32 – driven by Corey LaJoie
Newman’s car flew into the air after LaJoie clipped him while they sped around the Daytona 500 track at 195mph on Monday night
Flames soon started shooting from Newman’s vehicle before he came to a stop and emergency teams flooded the track
A crowd of emergency workers pulled Newman from the wreckage and immediately put him in an ambulance
The nervous crowd watched as Newman was put in the ambulance and then driven from the track to go to the hospital
‘He’s obviously in a serious condition because that’s probably the most vulnerable spot in our race cars that was a really scary wreck.
‘It was wild, I didn’t even know who I hit because you’re concentrating on trying to get a good finish and nobody knows how fast 200mph or how light or out of control these cars are.
‘I didn’t even know who I hit or what the extent of the crash was.
‘[It was a] very scary crash but the fact that he’s still with us and trying to make a full recovery is just testament to NASCAR and how safe they’re trying to make these race cars,’ he said.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday night that he was praying for Newman
NASCAR released a statement, saying: ‘Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center.
‘He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening.
‘We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time.’
Newman has made complaints in the past about the safety of NASCAR’s tracks.
He’s been a harsh critic of NASCAR’s struggles to keep cars on the ground, even getting fined for public comments the sanctioning body considered negative.
In 2010, he said fans shouldn’t even go to the track to see races at Talladega.
Denny Hamlin, who sped to victory unaware of what had happened on the track behind him, was criticized for celebrating so quickly when Newman’s condition was unknown
When the Fedex team realized what had happened and how serious it was, they cut their celebrations short in shock
They then all huddled together in prayer for Newman. A screen grab of that moment is shown above
Team owner Joe Gibbs (left) is pictured with Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin (right) following the race. Gibbs apologized for celebrating the victory as Newman was rushed off to hospital
The Indiana native, who graduated with an engineering degree from Purdue, said earlier during Speedweeks he felt renewed in his second year at Roush Fenway Racing.
‘It’s all about competitiveness and fun,’ he said. ‘I want to have fun with my life. If I can have fun in this garage doing it and get paid what I feel like I deserve to get paid, then I’m all for it. It’s got to be fun and it’s got be rewarding in more ways than one.
‘I’m doing it past when I said I was going to do it 10 years ago. I don’t know how to give the answer anymore, I really don’t. I always said 40 and I’m 42 now.’
On Monday night, after the wreck, Denny Hamlin went on to win the race in his No 11. Toyota Camry for the second consecutive season, prompting NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs to wildly celebrate at the finish line.
However, Gibbs has now apologized for gloating about the victory, saying he was unaware of how serious Newman’s accident actually was.
‘We really didn’t know, we got in the winner’s circle and that’s when people told us,’ he told assembled press later in the evening.
Newman, who is nicknamed ‘Rocket Man’, is father to two young daughters, who frequently watch him on from the sidelines of the race track. They are pictured in 2016 left. He and his wife, Krissie, have split after 16 years of marriage
Meanwhile, Hemlin appeared somber following his victory, telling assembled press: ‘I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are and number one, we are praying for Ryan’.
‘It’s a weird balance of excitement and happiness for yourself, but someone’s health and their family is bigger than any win in any sport. We are just hoping for the best.’
Newman, who is nicknamed ‘Rocket Man’, is father to two young daughters, who at his side in the moments before Sunday’s race began, only to be delayed a day by rain.
Other drivers were also stricken with concern in the aftermath of the smash, including a rattled Corey LaJoie – the driver who hit Newman’s car as it was flipping.
Corey LaJoie spoke on Tuesday about the crash. He clipped Ryan Newman’s vehicle after it had already hit the track wall. The collision sent Newman’s car flying into the air in a fiery wreck
‘Dang I hope Newman is ok,’ he posted on Twitter. ‘That is worst case scenario and I had nowhere to go but (into) smoke.’
It wasn’t the first crash like this for Newman at Daytona or at another superspeedway, the Talladega track in Alabama. His car went airborne and flipped repeatedly in the 2003 Daytona 500. He landed on his roof in that one and did again at Talladega in 2009.
Newman also announced last week he and his wife had split after 16 years of marriage.
‘I feel just renewed in general, the team, the people, the opportunities, the sponsors,’ he said.
‘All that makes a big difference to me. We’ve got to perform better.
‘Just because we performed better than they had done in the past doesn’t mean it’s up to my standards and my goals.
‘I feel like we need to step it up and that’s a big part of me wanting to continue doing what I’m doing.’