Following his scary crash at the Daytona 500, Ryan Newman was unable to participate in the Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas. Newman was released from the hospital on Feb. 19 after being hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.
Newman was in the lead when his car flipped and caught on fire. He was taken away in an ambulance to Halifax Medical Center. Still in recovery, Newman was forced to miss the next race which was held on Feb. 22. In his place was Ross Chastain.
The race was won by Joey Logano. Chastain wound up placing in 27th place after finishing two laps down due to causing the final caution on Lap 262. Chastain was not thrilled with his performance in place of Newman.
“It’s hard to get out of the car after you have a top-10 car, and you go and run into people and pick the wrong lanes on restarts and then spin it out at the end,” Chastain said after the race. “That’s pretty silly. Just a lot of mistakes on my end and then at the end just overdriving and for one position to be the first car a lap down. That’s unacceptable.”
He admitted that a lot of "small mistakes" on his end was the reason for his team's finish. He added that the car "deserved a lot better finish."
“[Roush Fenway Racing] and everybody puts so much into these cars, and ultimately I’m the one holding the wheel," he explained. "We had such a good first stage and had so much confidence and from there I just started making mistakes.”
Chastain will continue to drive in place of Newman as he recovers.
Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark put out a statement when the team first announced that Chastain would be driving in Las Vegas.
"First and foremost, our focus remains with Ryan and his family as he continues to recover," Newmark said in the statement. "We also want to express our sincere gratitude to all of those who have offered support and taken the time to send their thoughts and prayers to Ryan, his family and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing."
When the news was revealed, Chastain put out a heartfelt tweet regarding his teammate.
"No one could ever take the place of Ryan Newman on the track, and I can’t wait to have him back. As we continue to pray for a full and speedy recovery, I’ll do my best to make him and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing proud," the tweet read.