Racing fans are fearing the worst after Jeff Gordon appeared to be fighting back tears talking about Ryan Newman's possible condition. Along with Mike Joy, the two Fox anchors had given an update to viewers following Newman's crash, which occurred during the final lap of the Daytona 500 Monday evening. While speaking about the question of safety in the sport of car racing, Gordon's emotions started slipping through the cracks.
Jeff Gordon's eyes said it all In The last stand up...he's been crying. What Mike Joy said tells me this is very bad. He gave us nothing positive...this is just like the Earnhardt death...nobody would say anything. Please pray for Ryan Newman. #DAYTONA500 #prayforRyan pic.twitter.com/gfbmWT8zh8— FanStreamSports JP Peterson (@FanStreamJP) February 18, 2020
"Safety has come along way in this sport, but sometimes we are reminded that it is a very dangerous sport," Gordon said. "Just... thoughts and prayers are with Ryan Newman and his family."
Viewers quickly noted Gordon's demeanor and took to Twitter to express their concerns.
"I've been a NASCAR fan for a long time, but right now, I am shook like never before," wrote one fan. "I hope Newman is alright. That was terrifying to watch. And hearing Jeff Gordon almost break down in tears when talking about Newman... That hurt more." Another observed that "something seems off. Jeff Gordon had a serious emotional change at the end. You could hear it in his voice and see him close to tears... please let me be wrong!"
A third added that "It was not [a] good sign when Jeff Gordon gave an update holding back tears," before adding "we need everyone to send all your prayers to Ryan Newman and his family right now."0comments
Following the crash, it was announced that Newman had been helped out of his car and taken to a local hospital via ambulance. While his condition is not officially known, a Penske employee told WFTV sports anchor Joe Kepner that Newman was awake following the crash.
Newman's crash was the third to take place during this year's postponed Daytona 500. The first was during lap 181, when Brad Keselowski turned into a wall and took out a number of cars behind him. Keselowski later called it "just one of those racing deals. Later, during lap 199, Ross Chastain tried to move inside of Ryan Preece, who was in third at the time, which caused a multi-car pileup on the track.