Ryan Newman, the NASCAR driver who was in a fiery crash at the Daytona 500, is alive and in serious condition, but his injuries are not life-threatening, according to NASCAR and Roush Fenway.
The latest update: On the afternoon of February 18, 2020, Newman’s team revealed that Newman is now awake and speaking with his family and doctors. He remains hospitalized.
The first statement released by NASCAR and the team read, “Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not 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 we will provide more information as it becomes available.” Roush Fenway is Newman’s team.
Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark released a new statement Tuesday morning revealing that Newman is still in the hospital. However, he didn’t give further details on his condition at that time.
“On behalf of Roush Fenway Racing and Ryan Newman’s family, we’d like to thank the NASCAR community for the incredible outpouring of support and compassion for Ryan. Your thoughts and prayers have comforted us all,” Newmark said. “Ryan remains at Halifax Medical Center and we will provide further updates on his condition as they become available.”
According to WFTV, Jack Roush, CEO of Roush Fenway Racing, was spotted arriving at Halifax Hospital. Newman was in surgery, the television station reported.
Here are those tweets:
That was a relief to worried fans. “Fans have gathered outside Halifax to wait for news about Newman and pray for him and his family. The man I just spoke with was sitting directly in front of the crash. He was emotional discussing his worries about Newman’s condition,” wrote journalist Deanna Allbrittin of WFTV.
It was earlier reported that Newman was in stable condition after the horrific crash set his car ablaze in the final lap of the iconic race, according to a reporter for WESH 2, a local television station in Orlando, Florida. That report was from journalist Claire Metz. She wrote, “a bit of news on @RyanJNewman following horrific crash @DISupdates … sources say he is stable.” Metz is a WESH 2 news reporter.
Her tweet was the first news of Newman’s condition since the horrible crash. Shortly after it came the news that the injuries were serious but not fatal.
Newman was heading for a victory in the Daytona 500 before his car crashed and burst into flames in the final lap. He wasn’t seen getting out of the car after the crash.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Horrific Crash Was Captured on Video
The awful crash sent people to Twitter with prayers and concern for Newman from the start. According to WESH.com, Newman’s crash came as he was leading the iconic race.
He crossed the finish line “with his car on its roof, engulfed in flames,” the site reported. His car flipped and rolled and “was hit on the driver’s side by another car,” according to WESH.com. Denny Hamlin ended up winning the race.
Newman was rushed to the hospital, which initially gave fans hope. Fans’ prayers were answered when the news came that Newman survived the crash.
2. Newman’s Estranged Wife Krissie Wrote Simply ‘OMG’ on Twitter After the Crash
Newman’s estranged wife Krissie posted this on Twitter after the crash:
The couple had revealed only days before the crash that they were separating, but they painted the split as an amicable one.
On Thursday, the day before Valentine’s Day 2020, Ryan Newman and his wife Krissie both shared a statement on their social media pages: “We will continue to jointly raise our girls, while remaining friends and continuing to work together supporting Rescue Ranch. Thank you for the years of support and friendship. We ask that our daughters’ privacy be respected at this time.”
Newman posted the statement to his Twitter page. The couple was together for 16 years.
Ryan Newman and his estranged wife have two daughters, according to NBC Sports. Newman sometimes posts about his daughters on social media. On July 16, 2012, Newman wrote on Twitter, “Krissie and I welcomed Ashlyn Olivia today at 12:20 p.m. Mom and baby are doing well.”
Some posts show him enjoying the outdoors with his children. According to RC Racing.com, Newman gained an appreciation for the outdoors from his dad and grandfather; he now shares that with his two daughters, especially on their North Carolina farm.
“Our time on the farm is about giving Brooklyn and Ashlyn the understanding of the outdoors,” said Newman to the site. “I point out to them things like the sound a cardinal makes and why a ground hog does what he does and the time of year he hibernates.”
Newman’s daughters are named Brooklyn and Ashlyn.
According to the Bleacher Report, Krissie Newman is more involved in charities than any NASCAR wife. In fact, she has been called “the First Lady of NASCAR” because of her work with so many organizations, the site reports.
She’s considered so down-to-earth that she frequently baked cookies for Ryan’s team, Bleacher Report reveals. The pair met on a blind date in 2001 that her grandmother and a church friend set up, according to the site. She’s especially involved in animal charities.
3. The President & Fans Offered Prayers for Newman
President Donald Trump joined those wishing for Newman’s recovery. “Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCAR
driver! #PrayingForRyan,” Trump wrote.
Fans expressed prayers and support for Newman after the terrible crash. Here are some of the reactions. Fans prayed that he was alive as word was slow to come on his condition.
Thankfully, Newman is expected to survive.
4. Ryan Newman’s Father & Grandfather Inspired His Love of Racing
Ryan Newman comes from a family with a long love of racing.
According to NBC Sports, the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner started racing in Indiana. His father is named Greg Newman.
Greg Newman “was even a spotter for his son when he won the 50th Daytona 500 and the 2013 Brickyard 400,” NBC reports.
“My grandfather … helped build South Bend Motor Speedway so racing’s been in my blood for a long time,” Ryan Newman said to NBC. “My dad always wanted to be a race car driver, so I don’t think without his drive I would be necessarily where I am or who I am.”
According to the News Advance, Greg Newman worked as a mechanic. He got his son started early in racing – very early.
“…When he turned 8½ years old, we were driving him to the speedway one night and another hero of both of ours, Mel Kenyon, and some guys were there racing. I asked Ryan, `Do you think you’ll ever be as good as these guys, or you want to be like these guys?’ He said, `Yeah, dad. I’m going to do it,'” Greg told that newspaper about his son.
When Newman won the Daytona 500 in the past, his dad was extremely emotional, he told the News Advance. “I said in Victory Lane that I heard tears dropping over the radio,” Ryan Newman said to the site. “He’s emotional. He’s had a couple of health issues at times and he’s put himself on the edge.”
5. Newman Grew up in Indiana & Was a Star in Open-Wheel Ranks
Ryan Newman is a native of South Bend, Indiana. According to mrn.com, Newman “grew up as a star in the open-wheel ranks, winning more than 100 Quarter-Midget features, earning two Midget championships and claiming the 1995 USAC Midget Series Rookie of the Year award.”
His career really started to take off in 1996, when he was named USAC Silver Crown Series Rookie of the Year and then, in 1997, had a strong showing in Silver Crown points. The year after that, he had “11 top-10 finishes in 13 races for a third-place finish in the Silver Crown standings,” the site reports.
More victories followed.
According to his NASCAR bio page, “Ryan Newman is in his 19th full season in the NASCAR Cup Series and second with Roush Fenway Racing after five years with Richard Childress Racing. Newman has 18 Cup wins, including the 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400. He won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award in 2002, beating Jimmie Johnson. Newman has also raced for Team Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing. He has seven career wins in the Xfinity Series and one win in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.”
You can see that page with his full stats here.