Less than a month after he was hospitalized following his horrifying Daytona 500 crash, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is sitting down and opening up about the incident. Appearing on the NBC News show TODAY Wednesday morning, Newman spoke out about the terrifying incident and the safety features that allowed him to suffer minimal injuries.
"The cage was compromised," Newman revealed. "All those welds held together. The guys in the shop did an amazing job...I got hit from behind by a car going 190 mph, and it pushed me back, but then he hit me forward. His car actually hit my seat. Lots of things aligned."
Newman later went on to praise NASCAR and the organization’s continued efforts to keep those behind the wheel safe.
"There's a whole group in NASCAR that's done a great job," he said. "There's so many levels of things that happened in the last 20 years I've been in this sport that helped me to be able to sit here today."
Newman, 42, suffered no bones or internal injuries in the Feb. 17 crash. He did, however, suffer a head injury, it was later confirmed, and was hospitalized at the Halifax Medical Center for just under 48 hours before walking out with his two daughters – Brooklyn Sage and Ashlyn Olivi – at his side.
The crash immediately brought to light ongoing concerns over NASCAR’s safety, something that has been a top priority for Newman for years. Since 2009, the driver has been involved in three accidents that has involved his car being airborne or had another car come down on him. The accidents have led to Newman being a strong lobbyist for safety within the sport, and a bar added near the driver's head to protect the driver in case of roll overs was dubbed the "Newman Bar" after him.
Following his most recent crash, his No. 6 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing was transported to NASCAR's Research and Development facility in Concord, North Carolina for an investigation in the hopes of determining ways to improve safety. It is expected that Newman will be part of the investigation.0comments
Newman, meanwhile, says that he is "humbled" and "grateful" to be alive and that "on so many levels," he feels "lucky."
It is unclear when Newman will return to racing.