Ryan Newman appeared on the Fox Sports broadcast ahead of the virtual Talladega Superspeedway iRacing event to announce he’s “healthy” and ready to return to racing.
NASCAR could return to real-world competition as early as May 17, with conversations being held with local health officials about a return to racing and teams getting back into their race shops. Darlington Raceway is the latest rumored venue to host the first race.
“That’s the absolute plan for sure,” said Newman of participating in that race. “I’m healthy. I’ve been blessed with another layer of this situation (COVID-19) giving me more time to heal, and looking forward to being back in the seat, for sure.”
Newman has missed three races — the West Coast swing — after a violent last-lap crash in the Daytona 500 on February 17. He was extracted from his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and taken straight to Halifax Medical Center, initially listed in critical condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
On February 19, Newman walked out of the hospital with his two young daughters at his side. During an appearance on “The Today Show” on March 11, Newman revealed he was knocked out from the accident when his car first hit the outside wall in the tri-oval after being turned by Ryan Blaney and then hit again by Corey LaJoie. Newman also said he had a head injury that was “basically like a bruised brain.”
In Newman’s absence, Ross Chastain drove the No. 6 Ford at Las Vegas, Fontana, and Phoenix.
“I’m so excited and thankful all at the same time,” said Newman. “Excited to be healthy and at some point, get back in the race car when the world starts turning again, and thankful for all the people and support that I’ve got. Friends, family, fans, you name it, that have prayed for me and given me this multitude of miracles that has given me this opportunity to get back in the seat at some point.”
NASCAR stated of Newman’s status, “We share Ryan’s enthusiasm in his return to the track. We look forward to Ryan returning to racing as soon as he is medically cleared to race.”