Ryan Newman Daytona 500 Crash: NASCAR and Sports Writer Says 'Auto Racers Are Tougher Than NFL Players'

Ryan Newman survived a dangerous crash during the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Monday night as he walked out of the hospital on Wednesday afternoon and expected to make a full recovery. Because of what Newman did this week, one sportswriter has made a bold claim about NASCAR drivers. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote a column about auto racers, suggesting they are tougher than NFL players. He says drivers like Newman are a big reason why he made the claim, but he also goes into detail about what they do each week.

"Racers literally put their lives on the line for our entertainment every single week," Bianchi wrote. "They go 200 mph, driving along the edge of that thin line separating victory from calamity. The great English Formula One driver Sir Stirling Moss put it best when said, 'To achieve anything in this game, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.'"

Bianchi continued: "Just ask Ryan Newman, who was desperately trying to hold off Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin on the frantic final lap at the Daytona 500 on Monday. Blaney’s bumper made contact with Newman, whose car turned, crashed head-on into the wall, flipped onto its roof and got crushed on the driver’s side by Corey LaJoie’s car. Newman’s mangled car skidded across the finish line in flames.

"Somehow, someway, through the miracle of structural engineering and the immense strides NASCAR has made in driver safety over the years, Newman was able to escape one of the most terrifying crashes in NASCAR history with no life-threatening injuries."

Bianchi went on to mention that racing legend Richard Petty once raced with a broken neck and Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Cup in 2015 while dealing with a broken leg and ankle. He also mentioned the time when Texas A&M football head coach Jimbo Fisher talked about the toughness of racers when he was the grand marshall at the Daytona 500 a few years ago.

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"In NASCAR, they’re going to drive whether there’s rain, snow or sleet," Fisher said. "It's a sport that is always there for you. You know, these guys are going to show up and race every week. That’s why many of us are such huge fans."

Some NFL players might have something to say about this, but there is no denying the toughness of NASCAR drivers based on what Newman went through this week.