NASCAR fans and drivers breathed a sigh of relief after driver Ryan Newman was released from the hospital on Wednesday. Newman was injured after a horrifying crash at the close of Monday's Daytona 500, placing a somber cloud over what should've been a victorious moment.
But now that the driver is out of danger and recovering, many are laughing, joking, and moving on from the sights that closed the marquee race.
Corey LaJoie has already been joking with Newman upon his release, tweeting out the photo of Newman leaving the hospital and telling him, "you forgot your shoes."
Hey Ryan, you forgot your shoes. https://t.co/cyQ8VMfAMS— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie) February 19, 2020
LaJoie was directly connected to the accident that sent Newman to the hospital, striking the driver's car while it was spinning due to its accident and sending it into the air.
He opened up about his feelings and reaction to the accident during an interview with SiriusXM on Thursday, saying he didn't realize how severe the accident was until after being released from the infield care center according to For The Win.
"My stomach dropped, and I thought I was going to puke," LaJoie told SiriusXM before adding that the wreck was "the hardest hit I've had."
"We don't change a thing, we just keep learning from these wild crashes"@CoreyLaJoie tells @DanielleTrotta & @LarryMac28 he's comfortable returning to superspeedways & talks about his conversation with @RyanJNewman Wednesday night @GoFasRacing32 | @FordPerformance | @NASCAR pic.twitter.com/w9ORbl2KmD— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) February 20, 2020
But the driver also opened up with the outlet about his texts with Newman on Wednesday after his release.
"We texted last night. We shared a couple laughs [about when] we went to that little slick track in Pocono called S&S [Speedways]. And for whatever reason, Newman and I always found each other, and his big ass looked like Bowser in that little go-kart," LaJoie told SiriusXM. "We’re sliding around and smashing into each other, and his head is so big he had to hold the roof up because his head was smashing into it."
"So we shared a laugh over [that]," he continued. "I said, 'Man, it was almost like we were back at that slick track in Pocono, but unfortunately, we were going 200 miles an hour instead of seven.' And he thought that was funny. He’s down there still I guess in [Martin Truex Jr.'s] house in Florida. What a blessing to be able to share a laugh with Ryan not even almost 48 hours after everybody assumed the worst."
LaJoie also explained a bit about the emotional photo that showed him on his knees beside his burning car following the shocking accident.
"I really didn’t have a grip on what happened until probably Wednesday afternoon. [That’s] when it finally sunk in, and I was able to digest everything feelings wise and just the whole situation because I’ve never really been in a situation like that. I’ve never really been in a big superspeedway crash to that point. So it’s crazy how fast it happens, crazy how people don’t realize how much it hurts when you hit something that hard or that fast," LaJoie told SiriusXM. "People assumed or speculated that I got out because I was in a praying position. I honestly was on my knees because I was in pain. The wind was knocked out of me. Granted, I said a thank you for protection prayer up to the big guy because I knew it was a nasty wreck, but at that point in time, I had no idea who I hit or the severity of it."