When the checkered flag flew in the Daytona 500, Ryan Newman was upside down in a horrific accident that caused many to fear for his life. Two hours later, it was revealed that Newman was in “serious condition” with injuries that were “not life threatening”. Less than 48 hours later, Newman was walking out of the hospital holding the hands of his two daughters.
The sequence of events have been nothing short of what many would describe as a miracle and a testament to the safety enhancements and procedures the sport and medical personnel have made over the last twenty years or so. The positive nature of the updates on his condition continued on Sunday morning when Roush Fenway Racing team president Steve Newmark read a statement written by Ryan Newman.
Newman revealed that he did not receive “any internal organ damage or broken bones” but did “sustain a head injury” for which he continues to be treated for. He added that doctors “have been pleased” with his improvement “over the last few days”.
Steve Newmark continued the press conference by stating the team’s and Newman’s goals for 2020 have not changed. Newmark said, “His goal is to win the 2020 Cup Championship.” While there is still no timetable for Newman’s return to the #6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, it is very promising to hear that Newman and his team still have championship aspirations for this current season. Ross Chastain is expected to remain behind the wheel of the #6 until Newman is able to return.
In order for Newman to make the playoffs, he must first, of course, be medically cleared to race again. He must then request a waiver from NASCAR for not attempting every event, a requirement for playoff drivers. Once Newman returns, he would need to reach the Top-30 in points and win a race to qualify for the playoffs.
FULL STATEMENT from Ryan Newman:
“I’m sorry that I can’t be at the track in person, but I asked Steve to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all the support that was shown last week to both me and my family. The outpouring of emotion from not only the NASCAR community, but across the country has been truly humbling.
“I want to personally thank everyone, including the man upstairs, for their support, encouragement and the numerous offers of assistance. We always say that the NASCAR community is one big family and never has that been more evident to me than after seeing this family rally together and provide the comfort and support that has been shown to my family and me over the past few days. The calls and visits from the NASCAR executives and my friends and competitors has been truly uplifting.
“I want to thank everyone involved in my care, especially the staff at Halifax Medical Center, where I am convinced I received the best care available. I’m confident the efforts of each of those trained professionals played a major role in where I’m sitting today. And to the entire NASCAR organization, led by Jim France, thanks for being by my side the entire time. You truly stepped up to support me unconditionally when it mattered most.
“Most importantly, I have to thank the guys back at the Roush Fenway Racing shop that built me a car not only fast enough to lead the final seconds of the Daytona 500, but strong enough to do its job under great distress, allowing me to survive such an accident. I am truly indebted to each of you and it is unlikely I will ever be able to properly express to you how much the diligent effort with which you conduct your craftsmanship has affected me and my family. I hope you took pride in the photograph of me walking out of the hospital hand-in-hand with my daughters on Wednesday. Thank you. I can’t wait to get back in your race car.
“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones. I did sustain a head injury for which I’m currently being treated. The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days.
“Again, I want to thank each of you, from my partners, teammates and competitors and each and every fan across the country. Thank you everyone for the unparalleled concern and unwavering support. And to the media, who has acted with such respect and class during this time.
“I have spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the number six car will be waiting and ready for my return. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Ford.”