DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — Ryan Newman suffered serious but luckily non life threatening injures on the final lap of Monday’s rain delayed Daytona 500. Newman, 42, was leading on the 209th and final lap of the 62nd Annual race and maneuvered low to block Ryan Blaney’s run as the Team Penske driver had a big run on the low line heading into the tri-oval.
Blaney, was there but had no where to go as he was just wanting to push Newman to the win, not crash him.
“We pushed (Ryan) Newman there to the lead and then we got a push from the 11 (Denny Hamlin) and I made a move off 4 on Newman and he blocked it. I kind of went low and he blocked that, so then I was committed to just pushing him to the win and trying to have a Ford win it.
“I don’t know. We just got bumpers hooked up wrong and turned him. I hope he’s alright. Definitely was trying to push him to a win. I don’t want to say those things happen. I feel really bad about it.”
Newman’s car would slide upside down through the tri-oval and come to rest at pit exit. It would remain upside down for several minutes before crews were able to get him in an ambulance and taken straight to a local hospital for further evaluation.
At 10:06 p.m. ET, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, read a statement from Roush Yates Racing giving Newman’s condition. It read that Newman was being treated at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach for serious, non life threatening injuries.
“Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center,” O’Donnell said on Monday night at the Daytona International Speedway. “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.”
Newman, 42, is an Indiana native and has made 657 career starts in NASCAR’s premiere series and has reached victory lane 18 times. Included in those 18 wins are a Daytona 500 triumph in 2008 and 2013 Brickyard 400 victory too.
He also has 115 top five finishes to go along with 262 top 10’s and 51 poles. He was well known as “Rocket Man” for as good as he was in qualifying.
The South Bend native won 35 of his 51 poles in just his first four full time years in NASCAR. He’d race for Team Penske from 2000 through 2008 before joining good friend Tony Stewart when he formed Stewart Haas Racing for 2009. He’d stay there though 2013 before joining Richard Childress Racing from 2014 through 2018.
Newman, was in just second season with Roush Fenway Racing.