Ryan Newman, the NASCAR driver who suffered a fiery crash on Monday night at the Daytona 500, is married to wife, Krissie Newman, although they are very recently separated. He is also a father and is close to his own dad, who has emotionally described how much his son’s racing career means to him.
Newman was heading for a victory before his car crashed and burst into flames in the final lap. He wasn’t seen getting out of the car after the crash. That has people wondering more about his family — and praying that he’s going to be OK. NASCAR announced late Monday that Newman survived the crash. He is in serious condition, but his injuries are not life-threatening.
Newman is now awake and speaking to his family and doctors. He remains hospitalized, however.
Video showed the horrific wreck.
Krissie posted on Twitter after the crash:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Newman & His Wife Krissie Announced Only Days Before the Crash That They Were Separating
On Thursday, the day before Valentine’s Day 2020, Ryan Newman and his wife Krissie announced that they had decided to amicably separate.
They said in a joint statement: “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.
2. Newman & His Wife Have Two Daughters
As their statement on the separation noted, Ryan and Krissie Newman have two daughters, according to NBC Sports.
Newman’s daughters are named Brooklyn and Ashlyn. Newman sometimes posts about them 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,” Newman told RC Racing.com. “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.”
3. Krissie Newman Has Been Lauded for Her Charity Work
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 reported.
She’s considered so down-to-earth that she frequently baked cookies for Ryan’s team, Bleacher Report revealed.
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.
4. Ryan Newman’s Father & Grandfather Also Love 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. The Family Enjoyed Vacationing in the Ozarks Together & Going on Adventures
The Newmans were a close family over the years. One 2018 article described how Ryan, Krissie and the couple’s two girls headed to the Ozarks for a vacation.
According to RC Racing.com, they spent six days filled with adventure.
“The girls got to drive bumper cars and go-karts for the first time. They went tubing for the first time at Table Rock Lake. This trip was filled with a lot of firsts. The most special part for me was seeing them get to catch their first trout at Dogwood Canyon National Park. Ashlyn was the first to reel one in,” Newman told the site. It’s not clear what exactly led to the marital separation.