Three of the NASCAR drivers involved in the terrifying crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500 were reunited under much better circumstances Thursday.
It was part of a group outing at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, for several Ford drivers Thursday that included Joey Logano. The 2018 series champion told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” that the experience of spending time with Newman for 90 minutes was “like a miracle.”
Said Logano: “You look at that crash and it’s just like, ‘How is he even OK? He’s walking, he’s talking like nothing happened.’ He says his memory’s not foggy. Everything is there. It’s insane.
“Couldn’t be more happy for him and his family about that situation. I don’t believe in luck, but I believe in God and I believe that God really got involved with that one. …
“(Newman) said when he was flying out here, there was a little turbulence on the airplane and he was like, ‘This is nothing, don’t you worry about this. I’ve been through way worse.'”
Look who I found. pic.twitter.com/FvBytHi0oS
— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie) March 6, 2020
Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race is at nearby Phoenix Raceway. It’ll be the third race Newman misses since being injured in the Feb. 17 crash at Daytona International Speedway.
A Roush Fenway spokesman told NBCSports.com that Newman would be at Phoenix Raceway this weekend in support of the team. He isn’t scheduled to do interviews. Roush already had announced Ross Chastain, who has filled in for Newman the past two races, as the No. 6 Ford driver at Phoenix.
The drivers were at Sun Devil Stadium on behalf of Ford Performance to take part in a punt, kick and pass competition.
“Ryan Newman showed up,” Logano said. “We all thought that was the coolest thing. We talked to Ryan, I don’t know, an hour-and-a-half or so, just about his whole experience and everything that’s been going on, how he’s doing.
“Boy, he’s still Ryan Newman, nothing changed. Don’t worry about that. It’s a lot of fun to see him. It’s kind of weird, we’re all sitting there and I told him, ‘This is like a miracle, you sitting here right now. How is that even possible?’ He goes, ‘You know, if you saw the car you’d be even more amazed.’
“He recognizes the miracle that it is. Just crazy.”
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) March 6, 2020
Newman has yet to race since being injured in the Daytona crash, which started after a bump from Blaney’s No. 12 Ford sent his No. 6 careening into the outside wall. After going airborne, Newman’s car was hit at full speed by LaJoie’s No. 32 Ford.
Newman spent less than 48 hours at Halifax Medical Center before being released. He since has visited the Roush Fenway Racing shop, posted on social media and released a statement through the team (in which he vowed to race again).