Hello Newman! The NASCAR driver who suffered a brain injury at Daytona International Speedway is due to return; Driver comments on his return
Back on February 16th 2020, Ryan Newman was on his way to victory in NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500. He was leading with just a few hundred feet to the finish line.
However, as he threw a block on Ryan Blaney, Newman ended up turned into the outside wall at a high rate of speed.
Related: Ryan Newman crash (Video)
Newman bounced off the outside wall, rolled and was stuck essentially in the windshield by Corey LaJoie. Newman’s car was then thrown into the air in dramatic fashion.
The car came down on it’s lid and threw sparks across the 2.5-mile track. Newman came to a rest, upside down, just passed the start/finish line.
The NASCAR and track safety crews surrounded the car in a hurry after the race. Soon, tarps went up around the car to block the grandstands from viewing the evolving scene.
Behind the tarps, the 42-year-old driver was cut out of the car. He was then transported to a local hospital via ambulance.
A few days later, Newman walked out of the hospital, barefoot (he entered the hospital in racing shoes). The doctors and NASCAR driver himself have since called that ‘a miracle’.
However, Newman wasn’t totally out of the water. He suffered a brain injury and needed time to fully recover.
In the coming weeks, the Coronavirus outbreak took shape. It forced NASCAR to postpone 8 races beginning with Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 15th. Now, the series is looking to return in mid-May.
Newman will be there…
Ryan Newman comments on his return to racing after injury
“I’m so excited and thankful, all at the same time. Excited to be healthy and at some point, get back in the race car when the world starts turning again,” Ryan Newman told Fox Sports ahead of Sunday’s eNASCAR event at Talladega Superspeedway.
“Thankful for all the help and support that I’ve got. Friends, family, fans, you name it that have prayed for me and given me this multitude of miracles. It’s given me this opportunity to get back in the seat at some point.”
NASCAR is tentatively scheduled to return on May 17th. Will Newman be in the field?
“That’s the absolute plan for sure. I’m healthy. I’ve been blessed with another layer of this situation, giving me more time to heal. I look forward to being back in the seat for sure.”
What’s Newman been up to?
“Lots of work around the farm. Really just spending a lot of time with my kids, doing some home schooling. Things that are much needed and a lot of fun. Although, I’m not as good at Spanish in 2nd and 3rd grade as I thought I was.”
“The things around the farm… Doing a little hunting and fishing. Turkey season’s open now. Things like that, that I would normally be doing. But, not to this level. Cause I wouldn’t normall have this much time.”
The Newman bar
Years ago, Newman was involved in a heavy crash. As a result, NASCAR added a new bar to the rollcage, they called it ‘The Newman Bar’.
That bar above the upper part of the windshield likely played a large role in Newman’s ability to return to the track after the crash in February.
Coming full circle, that bar might have saved Newman’s life.
“I think there’s a little bit of irony there. But, I also have to give some credit to Earnhardt and Petty.”
“There’s also the Earnhardt bar and the Petty bar that you know about. They all tie together and are a big part of the innovation over time with crashes and accidents that have happened to make the race cars safer.”
“So, I’m truly blessed. I’m not a champion in the form of those other two 7-time champions. But, I’m honored to be a bar on the race car.”