NASCAR driver Ryan Newman appeared on the TODAY Show Wednesday morning (March 11) for his first interview since he survived a horrifying crash at the Daytona 500. In the interview, Newman expressed his gratitude for being alive and detailed his injuries and what he thinks saved his life.
On February 17th, Ryan Newman was in the lead as he neared the finish line of the Daytona 500 when the rear of his car was nudged by another driver and his car was sent into the outer wall of the track. His No. 6 Ford Mustang struck the wall, went airborne, and was hit by another car on the driver’s side door after landing upside down on the track. It took rescue personnel 10 minutes to extract him from the car. Newman was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. In what can only be described as a miracle, Newman walked out of the hospital less than 48 hours later.
Newman issued a statement during a press conference via Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, a few days later saying, “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.”
During his TODAY Show appearance, Newman detailed the head injury, telling host Hoda Kotb that he has “basically like a bruised brain. It takes time to heal.”
He added that there was a period of time where he was knocked out and doesn’t remember some of the race. But, overall he just feels lucky.
“On so many levels, I feel so lucky,” Newman said. “If you look at the crash you think that’s spectacular…in a bad way, right? But, if you look at the car afterwards, you think about all the things that happened right for me to be sitting here.”
When asked about “what went right,” Newman pointed out details that prove just how close he was to sustaining serious injury. “Just where I was hit…the cage was compromised. All those welds held together, so the guys in the shop did an amazing job,” Newman said. “I got hit from behind by a car going 190 miles an hour. I got pushed back, but then he pushed me forward. His car actually hit my seat. Lots of things happened that aligned…the angels aligned and held a really good grip with their hands.”
In case there was any doubt that Ryan Newman will be returning to the track after such a scare, he made it clear that he is ready to get back behind the wheel.
“I love it. It’s been a little bit painful to be out of the race car and to not be doing what I’ve done for so many years. I started racing when I was four-years-old. It’s just kind of who I am,” Newman said before answering the question everyone is asking. When will he return to racing? “I don’t know yet. We’re working on it. As soon as I possibly can.”
Watch Ryan Newman’s full interview with TODAY below.
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