DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ryan Newman is in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries after a last-lap crash in Monday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, read a statement at 10:06 p.m. ET from Roush Yates Racing reporting Newman’s condition and that Newman was being treated at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.
UPDATE: Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, issued this statement at 11:51 a.m. ET Tuesday:
— Steve Newmark (@NewmarkRFR) February 18, 2020
Newman, 42, was injured after a chaotic last lap. He passed Denny Hamlin for the lead on the backstretch, getting a push from Ryan Blaney.
Exiting Turn 4, Blaney went low to challenge for the lead. Newman dropped down the track to block. Blaney hit Newman. The contact turned Newman’s car to the right. He slammed the outside wall and turned upside down. Corey LaJoie’s car slammed into Newman’s car on the driver side. Newman’s car crossed the finish line sliding on its roof with sparks flying. The No. 6 Ford car came to rest just beyond the exit of pit road.
“We were coming so fast, it’s hard to make a quick move, especially with someone pushing you,” Blaney said after the race. “(Newman) blocked the top and he blocked the bottom, too. At that point, when he blocked the bottom, I was just committed to pushing him to the win, trying to get a Ford the win. I thought I was pretty square but it got him to the right. I hope he’s alright. That looked really bad. Definitely unintentional. I was committed to pushing him to the win. It sucks to lose the race, but you never want to see anyone get hurt.”
Newman, beginning his 19th Cup season, was credited with ninth place. Hamlin won the race for the second consecutive year and third time in his career.
It took safety workers 10 minutes to remove Newman from the car. Screens were placed around the car to prevent spectators from viewing safety crews attending to Newman. After he was removed from the car, Newman was immediately transported by ambulance to a local hospital at 8:09 p.m. ET.
LaJoie tweeted: “Dang, I hope Newman is ok. That is worse case scenario and I had nowhere to go but smoke.”
NASCAR announced late Monday that it will take the cars of Newman and LaJoie back to its R&D Center to further examine.
Car owner Joe Gibbs apologized after the race for his team celebrating Hamlin’s win because they were not aware of the severity of the crash until they had reached victory lane.
“I apologize to everybody, but we really didn’t know,” Gibbs said after the race.
Said Hamlin: “Someone’s health and their family is bigger than any win in any sport.”
O’Donnell read a statement that said: “Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. He’s in serious condition but doctors have indicated his injuries are non-life threatening. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time. We appreciate your patience and cooperation and will provide more information as it becomes available.”
Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports, stated: “We’re grateful for the news about Ryan. We had been waiting for information just like everyone else, so to hear some positive news tonight is a relief. Ryan has been an important part of the Roush Fenway and Ford NASCAR program this past year, and he is so respected for being a great competitor by everyone in the sport. The entire Ford family is sending positive thoughts for his recovery, but our first thoughts remain with his family and his team.”
President Donald J. Trump tweeted that prayers for Newman. Trump gave the command to start the Daytona 500 on Sunday and met with some drivers before the race. Newman attended a rally for Trump in 2016 during Trump’s campaign.
Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCAR driver! #PrayingForRyan
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020
.@NASCAR's @odsteve provided an update on the condition of Ryan Newman, following a crash on the final lap of the #Daytona500. pic.twitter.com/Ga0TjPI7zr
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) February 18, 2020