By David Morgan, Associate Editor
While the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season is still on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when the green flag flies and the cars hit the track again, Ryan Newman is planning to be back behind the wheel of his Roush-Fenway Racing Ford.
Newman, who has been on the sidelines since his harrowing crash at the end of the Daytona 500, made the announcement of his return in the opening minutes of Sunday’s Talladega iRacing broadcast.
“I’m so excited and thankful, all at the same time. Excited to be healthy and at some point, get back in the race car when the world starts turning again,” Newman said. “Thankful for all of the people and support that I’ve gotten. Friends, family, fans, you name it, that have prayed for me and given me this multitude of miracles that has given me this opportunity to get back in the seat at some point.”
Pressed further by host Mike Joy, Newman added that when NASCAR returns to action, possibly as early as May 17, he is planning to be in the driver’s seat.
“That’s the absolute plan for sure. I’m healthy. I’ve been blessed with another layer of this situation giving me more time to heal and I’m looking forward to being back in the seat.”
Prior to the season being put on hold due to the pandemic, Newman detailed some of his injuries in an interview with the TODAY Show, stating that his head injury sustained in the crash included a bruised brain that would take some time to heal.
Following Newman’s announcement of his plans to return to competition, NASCAR sent out the following statement, alluding to Newman still needing to be medically cleared before his plans become a reality.
“We share Ryan’s enthusiasm in his return to the track. We look forward to Ryan returning to racing as soon as he is medically cleared to race.”
Since Newman has been on the sidelines, Ross Chastain has been driving the No. 6 car for Roush-Fenway Racing, with his best finish coming with a 17th place result at Auto Club Speedway.
Chastain posted his comments about Newman’s return on Twitter, expressing his excitement that Newman will be back behind the wheel and giving thanks to Roush-Fenway for letting him substitute for the three races he did.
I’m happy Ryan is returning to the No. 6 when NASCAR resumes. He has a wonderful team around him and it’ll be great to see him back competing.
Thanks to Jack, RFR and all their sponsors for letting me keep his seat warm while he was making his recovery.
— Ross Chastain (@RossChastain) April 26, 2020