Racing fans are breathing easier now that there's been positive word of Ryan Newman's condition. Newman was in a devasting car crash during the final lap of the Daytona 500 Monday night and was later taken to a nearby hospital. After word that Newman was in serious but stable condition last night, an update Tuesday afternoon by Roush Fenway said that he was "awake and speaking."
Update on Ryan Newman: pic.twitter.com/TdJHDZ3O7O— Roush Fenway (@roushfenway) February 18, 2020
With word that Newman is both conscious and lucid following his wreck, his supporters took to Twitter to wish the racer a speedy recovery.
"Please let Ryan know that the army of prayer warriors was huge and the prayers going up were intense," wrote one fan.
Another added they hoped everyone would "continue to keep getting good news!"
A third wrote that they were "so glad to hear that he is awake and speaking with family and doctors," adding, "stay strong rocket man!!"
Others were limiting themselves to cautious optimism.
"The good news is he is awake and able to speak," wrote yet another fan, who went on to speculate that "it is somewhat disconcerting however that his injuries have yet to be disclosed. Hoping for the best."
Newman's crash occurred just seconds before his car was about to cross the finish line before it flipped over several times before catching on fire. Denny Hamlin ended up winning the race and ended up rubbing some viewers the wrong way by celebrating his victory despite Newman's condition not being known at the time.
Hamlin, whose victory last night marked his third consecutive win at the annual event, later addressed the backlash on Twitter. After sending his support for Newman, Hamlin wrote that he "had absolutely NO IDEA of the severity of the crash until I got to victory lane."
"There's very little communication after the finish and I had already unhooked my radio," he continued. "It's not anyone's fault."
While Newman's crash was the most severe, there were two other major crashes that occurred earlier in the race. The first happened on lap 181 after racer Brad Keselowski turned into a wall, which took out a number of cars behind him. The second occurred in lap 199 when Ross Chastain attempted to move inside of third-place Ryan Preece, which caused another multi-car pileup.