When Ryan Newman wrecked near the end of the Dayton 500 on Feb. 17, NASCAR fans sought out the reason for the incident. Some felt that fellow competitor Ryan Blaney had caused the incident after his vehicle tapped Newman's. The veteran driver in Newman didn't hold any grudges, however, as Blaney revealed.
Speaking with reporters ahead of Sunday's Auto Club 400, Blaney reflected upon the Daytona 500 incident. He explained that several current and former drivers reached out to him in the days following the accident. Blaney also revealed that he had stayed away from social media.
The situation changed when he actually spoke with Newman on the phone. The two drivers spoke for a few minutes on Feb. 19, two days after the Daytona 500 crash.
Ryan Blaney reflects on the relief he felt after talking to Ryan Newman Wednesday following the Daytona 500. pic.twitter.com/amGCDd4hCW— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 29, 2020
"That was really nice to talk to him," Blaney said. "We only talked for five or 10 minutes, but that did a lot for me talking to him. There were no hard feelings or anything like that. I look forward to seeing him soon. It's amazing how fast he has recovered from that stuff. Like I said in my little post, I don't think you will find anyone tougher than that guy. It's remarkable. As he progressed and got better, it made me feel better as well."
Newman has since been released from the hospital and has been continuing his recovery from a head injury suffered during the Daytona 500. He went fishing as part of his "therapy," and he also stopped by the Roush Fenway Racing headquarters. Newman won't be back behind the wheel for some time, but Blaney is happy that his friend and fellow competitor is continuing to show these signs of progress.
"You never wanna see anyone get hurt in this sport," Blaney said. "We are all competitors but we are also a big family. Ryan [Newman] and I have gotten along really well, and that was just a bad circumstance, and it's great that it worked out for the best. It was nice to have the friends and family and drivers and teams support. That really helped me out."
Blaney will continue the NASCAR season with Sunday's Auto Club 400 in Fontana, California. The green flag is set to be waved at 12:30 p.m. PT.
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