Ryan Newman Reveals That He Has a Head Injury but No Internal Damage from Daytona 500 Crash

"The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days," Ryan Newman said in a Sunday statement

Ryan Newman is on the mend after his terrifying, fiery crash at the Daytona 500.

In a statement delivered Sunday by Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark, the NASCAR driver revealed that he “was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones” after the accident in which Corey LaJoie crashed into Newman at the Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17.

“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,” continued Newman, 42, in the statement, which Newmark read ahead of a Sunday race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Newman thanked “everyone involved in my care, especially the staff at Halifax Medical Center” in Daytona Beach, Florida, saying the “trained professionals” at the hospital “played a major role in where I’m sitting today.”

He continued by expressing gratitude to those who built his car in a way that may have ultimately helped him survive the crash, saying, “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 craftmanship has affected me and my family.”

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Ryan Newman
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“I hope you took pride in the photograph of me walking out of the hospital hand-in-hand with my daughters on Wednesday,” Newman said. “Thank you. I can’t wait to get back in your race car.”

The professional driver also said he has “spoken with [Roush Fenway Racing founder, CEO and co-owner] Jack Roush and he has assured me that the No. 6 car will be waiting and ready for my return,” concluding, “I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Ford.”

Newman was released from the hospital on Wednesday, just two days after he was involved in the wreck during the final lap of the Daytona 500. He was “awake and speaking with family and doctors” by Tuesday, Roush Fenway Racing shared in a statement that day.

“Ryan Newman has been treated and released from Halifax Medical Center,” Roush Fenway Racing wrote on Twitter Wednesday alongside a photo of the driver and his two daughters Ashlyn Olivia, 7½, and Brooklyn Sage, 9, holding hands as they walked out of the hospital. (Newman and his estranged wife Krissie, the girls’ mother, have been married for 16 years, and recently announced they were separating, just four days before the crash.)

Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman and his daughters. Krissie Newman/Twitter

A driver hasn’t died in a NASCAR race since Dale Earnhardt at the Daytona 500 in 2001. Since Earnhardt’s death 19 years ago at age 49, the racing league has taken steps to increase driver safety — including enforcing helmet rules and creating improved barriers around the track to safely absorb more impact.

“Without any changes, drivers would still be dying in NASCAR,” Dr. John Melvin, a leading voice on NASCAR driver safety, told ESPN in 2011 as the league enforced new safety regulations. “But I don’t think we’d be seeing NASCAR right now, quite frankly. I think Congress would have gotten involved at some point.”

Denny Hamlin, who celebrated winning the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 soon after Newman’s crash, apologized in a post-race tweet that same day.

“First a foremost I want to give well wishes and prayers to @RyanJNewman. I had absolutely NO IDEA of the severity of the crash until I got to victory lane,” Hamlin said. “There’s very little communication after the finish and i had already unhooked my radio. It’s not anyone’s fault.”

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