John Patalek

NASCAR won’t change overtime rules after Ryan Newman crash

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Changes won’t be made to overtime rules following Ryan Newman‘s violent crash in an overtime finish of the Daytona 500, a NASCAR executive said Saturday.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, spoke Saturday about NASCAR’s response to Newman’s crash in the immediate seconds after the car came to rest and in the days since with its investigation.

O’Donnell also said he’d “stand by” NASCAR’s caution procedures in the wake of the crash.

O’Donnell appeared with John Bobo, NASCAR vice president of racing operations, whose duties include overseeing the sanctioning body’s medical policies and procedures, and John Patalak, NASCAR senior director of safety engineers, who oversees safety functions and NASCAR’s R&D Center.

O’Donnell provided no information on Newman’s medical status, citing HIPAA laws. It was stated that Newman’s medical team will have to clear Newman to return to racing. NASCAR also will have to clear him. After Newman was released from the hospital Wednesday, Roush Fenway Racing said there was no timetable for his return.

During the news conference, O’Donnell outlined the response by safety and medical crews to Newman’s crash:

  • The safety truck arrived on the scene 19 seconds after Newman’s car came to rest.
  • One of the three trauma doctors arrived 33 seconds after Newman’s car came to rest.
  • A paramedic entered Newman’s car two seconds later.
  • For the next 3 1/2 minutes, two doctors and a paramedic attended to Newman.
  • The decision was made to roll Newman’s car over while continuing to aid the driver 4 minutes, 5 seconds after the car came to rest.
  • The car was rolled over and the extrication team began cutting the roof as a doctor continued to provide treatment to Newman 6:56 after car came to rest.
  • The roof was removed from the car 11:10 after Newman’s car came to rest.
  • The extrication of Newman completed 15:40 after the car came to rest .
  • During the entire time doctors and paramedics were attending to Newman except when the car was rolled over.

NASCAR took the cars driven by Ryan Newman and Corey LaJoie to its R&D Center to continue the investigation.

“On Tuesday, that started with the laying out of the vehicles in a secure space, where we have all the components and associated elements that come from the cars on the race track as well as the driver’s safety equipment,” Patalak said. “Really starting from the outside of the vehicles, slowing working our way in and assessing each of the individual safety systems and how they’ve performed individually, as well as together as a complete assembly, then ultimately how the two cars interacted together during the crash.”

Patalak listed “many sources of data” NASCAR is using during the investigation:

  • The incident data recorder in each car.
  • Footage from the high-speed camera that is inside each Cup car and pointed at the driver to see what a driver goes through in a collision.
  • ECU data and available telemetry data from the cars.
  • Broadcast and non-broadcast video sources.

“We’re currently working on synchronizing all of those data sets together in time … to create full picture of what happened as the crash unfolded,” Patalak said. “We’re working together with Roush Fenway Racing as well as outside experts as we continue to investigate and look forward to being able to provide more information sometime soon.”

O’Donnell said one of the reasons details on the wreck weren’t provided Saturday was that NASCAR hasn’t “had the chance to go through this with Ryan and his team, with the other drivers in the garage, but Ryan’s feedback as we go through this will be key. I think that’ll be a key component as it’s always been throughout the process when he’s been racing.”

O’Donnell expressed surprise that “we haven’t heard a lot (from drivers) about blocking or different things that occurred during the race.”

With the crash having happened five days ago, O’Donnell said “Our job now is to have continued dialogue with the drivers, see what happens in terms of this race package. Where there any changes from Talladega to Daytona in terms of how they races? How that may have contributed or not to this incident and if we can make some changes we will.”

Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark will speak to the media for the first time after the crash in a news conference scheduled for 12:45 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Newman was released from the hospital Wednesday, less then 42 hours after being injured in the Daytona 500.

Roush Fenway Racing announced the news in a release and via Twitter, posting a photo of Newman, clad in T-shirt and jeans, walking from Halifax Medical Center while holding the hands of his two daughters.

It was the second photo that the team had posted Wednesday; earlier reporting that Newman was walking around the hospital in good spirits and playing with his daughters.

Later that day, the team announced Ross Chastain would drive Newman’s car this weekend in Las Vegas while stating there was no timetable for Newman’s return.

More: Corey LaJoie texts with Ryan Newman, thanks fans for support

More Ryan Blaney talks to Ryan Newman, looks forward to seeing him at track

Krissie Newman also posted video of the family leaving the hospital.

 

Not long after his release, Newman met up with his friends Martin Truex Jr. and his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, in the driver motorhome lot at Daytona International Speedway.