Photo: Stephen A. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Newman in Serious Condition After Last Lap Crash in Daytona 500

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

Ryan Newman is in serious condition and unspecified, but non-life threatening injuries while being treated at Halifax Medical Center.

The update on Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 champion, came via Roush Fenway Racing.

 

While battling for the win on the last lap of the 62nd Daytona 500, which was postponed to Monday due to weather, Newman was leading off of Turn 4 coming to the checkered flag when he was clipped by Ryan Blaney’s car. The incident turned Newman’s No. 6 Koch Industries Ford Mustang left into the wall before his car flipped and began sliding in the tri-oval.

Everyone at the Daytona International Speedway went into complete shock and silence after Corey LaJoie, who had nowhere to go, collided into Newman at full speed. The contact catapulted Newman into the air and once again slid on his roof until it came at a full stop in Turn 1.

Hamlin won his third Daytona 500, beating Blaney by 0.014 seconds. Newman was credited finishing ninth, but that became absolutely irrelevant as medical crews rushed to the scene as everyone were awaiting on the condition from the 51-time NASCAR Cup Series pole sitter.

Both Blaney and LaJoie commented about their viewpoint of the horrific accident.

“We pushed Newman there to the lead and then we got a push from the 11. I kind of went low and he blocked that and so I was committed to pushing him to the win and have a Ford win it. I don’t know,” Blaney on the incident. “We just got the bumpers hooked up wrong and I turned him. I hope he is alright. It looked pretty bad. I was trying to push him to the win. I don’t like saying that things just happen because I feel really bad about it. It was a close one. I just hope Ryan is alright.”

“The narrative kind of changed a little bit. I heard he (Newman) went straight to the hospital. That’s obviously scary,” LaJoie said. “I got a big push there that last coming to the white. I don’t know who was pushing me and I kind of stalled out and I don’t know who hooked Newman. I was hoping he would kind of bounce off the fence to the left, but he didn’t and I hit him. I don’t know exactly where I hit him. I haven’t seen a replay. It was some scary stuff. Don’t’ get me wrong. My car was on fire.  My seat belts grabbed all sorts of areas, but it was a good day for us. I hope Ryan is OK.”

Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance, also issued a statement regarding Newman’s condition:

“We’re grateful for the news about Ryan,” Rushbrook said. “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.”

Roush Fenway Racing issued an update on Newman’s condition Tuesday afternoon:

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.