Ryan Newman Says 'It's Great to Be Alive' as He Returns to NASCAR Behind the Scenes

Friday afternoon, NASCAR drivers were taking part in practice laps in anticipation of Sunday's FanShield 500 in Phoenix, Arizona. While the focus was on the competitors and their preparation for the upcoming race, there was one individual drawing attention. Ryan Newman was in attendance at the Phoenix Raceway, expressing happiness about being alive.

The 42-year-old driver was on hand to support the Roush Fenway Racing team on Friday, marking his first time behind the scenes at an event since his crash at the end of the Daytona 500. Reporters and fellow drivers alike were excited to see Newman in attendance and frequently asked him questions about his wellbeing.

"It's great to be alive. If you look at my car, it's a miracle," Newman said while walking around the Phoenix Raceway. He was moving around without issues and appeared to be in great spirits.

Of course, one of the main questions posed to Newman is when he will be back behind the wheel of a stock car and in search of a Cup Series Championship. NASCAR fans have routinely asked for his return to action, but the veteran is not quite sure when this will happen.

"I have no idea about anything," Newman said about his comeback. "I'm here as a spectator, have some fun. ... I'm really here to support the [No.] 6 team, stay integrated with what I can do with the team."

As he mentioned during a brief interview, Newman felt that it was truly great to be alive considering that amount of damage done to his No. 6 Ford Mustang. There were multitudes of fans surprised that he had survived the crash with only minor injuries, which is a viewpoint Newman truly understood.

As Newman showed on Friday, he felt lucky to be alive and uninjured. He was enjoying his time at the track supporting his team and was embracing his health. Newman even dropped a reference to a sponsor, saying "it does a body good" while holding up a can of Coca-Cola.

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While Newman will not be suiting up for Sunday's FanShield 500, he will be supporting his replacement driver. Ross Chastain will once again be behind the wheel of the No. 6 Ford Mustang and will be entering the weekend with 200-1 odds to secure the victory.

(Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)