After NASCAR driver, Ryan Newman's violent and fiery crash in an overtime finish at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, the auto racing association is now stating they will not be making any changes to their overtime rules in light of the major accident. In an statement issued Saturday by NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, Steve O'Donnell, spoke out about the organization's response to Newman's crash just seconds after the car came to a stop and its ongoing investigation.
While O'Donnell does not foresee any changes to NASCAR's overtime rules or even caution-flag procedures, he did share how the superspeedway package used at Daytona and its sister track, Talladega, would be evaluated before its April 26 race.
"I think it's fair to say it's still early in terms of as we look through this, but we're going to look at everything and anything in terms of the speeds," O'Donnell said while referencing practice speeds at Daytona 500, which hit close to 205 mph. "The liftoff, you've heard me say many times before, we never want a car to get airborne so we'll look at how that occurred around the speeds. We'll look at the racing procedures we have in place as well. All of those will be on the table as we look to head into Talladega, and if we need to make adjustments around the aero balance and speeds as it relates to safety, we'll do that."
O'Donnell went on to say he would "stand by" NASCAR's caution procedures in the wake of the crash.
While O'Donnell provided no new information on Newman's status after his departure from the hospital this past Wednesday, he did share that the racer's medical team and Roush Fenway Racing will have to clear him if he were to return to racing soon. In addition to such clearance, NASCAR will also evaluate the situation with Newman.
During the news conference, O'Donnell provided a plethora of details in the response from safety and medical crews to Newman's crash, adapted via NBC News, some which include:
- Safety truck had arrived on the scene just 19 seconds after Newman's car came to rest;
- Thirty-three seconds after Newman's crash, one of the three trauma doctors arrived to the scene;
- One paramedic entered Newman's car two seconds later, providing assistance;
- For almost three-and-a-half minutes, two doctors and a paramedic tended to Newman's condition;
- And, Newman's car was rolled over and the extrication team began cutting the roof open as a doctor continued to provide treatment to Newman, the roof was removed shortly after.
On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Newman's team, Roush Fenway Racing made the announcement of their driver's recovery alongside a photo of the 42-year-old South Bend, Indiana native walking out of Halifax Health Medical Center, holding the hands of his two daughters, Brooklyn Sage and Ashlyn Olivia, of whom he shares with recently separated, estranged wife, Krissie Newman.0comments
Prior to Roush's update, his racing team had shared that Newman was up and walking around the hospital: "True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters," they stated in a tweet.
On Feb. 17, Newman crashed his No. 6 Ford after another vehicle hit his vehicle during the Daytona 500, causing him to spin out and strike a wall before going airborne and getting struck by another race car. Safety crews rushed immediately to help the NASCAR star, whose vehicle was slid upside-down on its driver's side.
Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images