MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Nearly three months after being involved in a violent crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500 at Daytona Int’l Speedway, Ryan Newman discussed the incident and how he survived the crash.
Taking part in a Zoom call with members of the media on Thursday, Newman explained there were several factors that allowed him to survive the crash and walk out of the hospital arm-in-arm with his children a few days later.
He gave a lot of credit to the safety equipment inside his Roush Fenway Racing race car as well as the safety crew at the track and those who took care of him at the hospital for helping save his life.
“They always say things happen for a reason and this year was the year,” Newman said. “It’s only the fourth race I had on a brand-new style of helmet — it’s a carbon fiber zero helmet that I was wearing — the second time I’d worn it in Cup competition. Everything aligned in so many ways. The safety workers, the personnel that were involved, that were inside the car with me, spent time with me during and after the crash, every layer of it there were multiple miracles — big miracles and little miracles, in my opinion — that aligned for me to be able to walk out days later with my hands around my daughters and to be thankful.
“I can’t answer all of those things and I don’t think anybody can when miracles do happen, but we need to be thankful for that — at least I am — and I’m just proud of how everybody has united in the past say 20 years that I’ve been involved in this sport to make the tracks safer, the walls safer, the cockpit safer, the seat safer — all the work that has gone into that collectively, not just the NASCAR world, but everybody,” Newman continued. “People in sprint car racing, people in Indy car racing — I am the net result or at least I feel like I am. It’s not just a Newman bar, it’s not just a Petty bar or an Earnhardt bar, it’s the net effort of everybody in auto racing that, I think, contributed to that day.”
Newman explained that as part of his treatment, doctors put him in a medically-induced coma upon his arrival at Daytona Beach’s Halifax Medical Center. As a result, he had no memory of the crash until he saw a replay of it a few days later.
“They were trying to keep me in a somewhat of a medically-induced coma from what I’ve been told and that medicine kind of zoned me out, so I really don’t have any memories or recollection of any of my crash until I actually had my arms around my daughters walking out of the hospital,” Newman said. “When they give you those medicines and you’re knocked out, you don’t know what’s going on. I was able to walk out in the condition that I was and as I watched in the next, call it 24 hours, as I watched the crash and had to make myself believe what I had went through, I really looked to my dad to say, ‘Hey, did this really happen?’ Like it was kind of there’s no déjà vu when there’s no deja. It was just kind of like, ‘All right, I believe you.’ It’s crazy. I’m happy I’m here.
“I really don’t have any recollection of the last lap and everything after that until I walked out of the hospital with my daughters,” Newman added.
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