Ryan Newman acknowledged via his Roush Fenway Racing team that he suffered a head injury in his last-lap crash in the Daytona 500, but “can’t wait to get back in a race car” as soon as possible.
On Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, team president Steve Newmark read a prepared statement from Newman, which shed light on his driver’s condition following the accident. Newman did not suffer any broken bones or internal injuries when his car hit the outside wall in the tri-oval, went airborne, and was then hit again by Corey LaJoie. Once the car landed, it skidded down the frontstretch on its side and caught on fire.
Newman’s full statement is as follows:
“I’m sorry that I can’t be at the track in person but I asked Steve to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all the support that was shown last week to both me and my family.
“The outpouring of emotion from not only the NASCAR community but across the country has been truly humbling. I want to personally thank everyone including the man upstairs for their support, encouragement and the numerous offers of assistance.
“We always say that the NASCAR community is one big family and never has that been more evident to me than after seeing this family rally together and provide the comfort and support that has been shown to my family and me over the past few days. The calls and visits from the NASCAR executives and my friends and competitors have been truly uplifting.
“I want to thank everyone involved in my care, especially the staff at Halifax Medical Center, where I am convinced I received the best care available. I’m confident the efforts of each of these trained professionals played a major role in where I’m sitting today. And, to the entire NASCAR organization, led by Jim France, thanks for being by my side the entire time. You truly stepped up to support me unconditionally when it mattered most.
“Most importantly, I have to thank the guys back at the Roush Fenway Racing shop that built me a car not only fast enough to lead the final seconds of the Daytona 500, but strong enough to do its job under great distress, allowing me to survive such an accident. I am truly indebted to each of you, and it is unlikely I will ever be able to properly express to you how much the diligent effort with which you conduct your craftsmanship has affected me and my family. I hope you took pride in the photograph of me walking out of the hospital hand in hand with my daughters on Wednesday. Thank you. I can’t wait to get back in your race car.
“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones. I did sustain a head injury for which I am currently being treated. The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days.
“Again, I want to thank each of you. From my partners, teammates, and competitors and each and every fan across the country. Thank you, everyone, for the unparalleled concern and unwavering support. And to the media, who has acted with such respect and class during this time.
“I’ve spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the No. 6 car will be waiting and ready for my return. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Racing Ford.”
Nearly two hours after the accident on Monday night, Newman was said to be in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries. He walked out of the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
There is no timeline for Newman to return to Cup Series competition, and he will have to be cleared by both his doctors and NASCAR. Ross Chastain will be the No. 6 team’s substitute driver beginning this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“Right now, we’re just taking it one race at a time,” said Newmark. “The arrangement with Ross is if we need him, he should be available.”
Newmark said that Newman reiterated before the press conference that his objective is to return to racing and win the championship. Newman may make a return to the track before being cleared to race.
“I can’t get into the medical conditions obviously because of HIPAA and other medical privacy laws, but the other piece of it, Ryan actually wants to be the one to be in front of you and answer those questions,” said Newmark. “He’s kind of chomping at the bit to be back here, and I think he feels that it would be most appropriate for him to be behind the mic, answering a lot of those questions.”