Ryan Newman has been laying low ever since his major crash at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, which led to him being sent to the hospital. Newman was released days later and is now speaking out in his first interview since the crash. Newman was on the NBC News show Today Wednesday morning, where he opened up about the crash.
Saying he was "humbled" and "grateful" to be sitting at the table, he told Today anchors of his head injury, describing it "basically like a bruised brain," and admitting that "it just takes time for it to heal."
"I was knocked out. There was a point where I don't remember a part of the race," Newman admitted. "Realistically I just feel so lucky. On so many levels I feel so lucky."
"You look at the crash you think, that's spectacular in a bad way. But you look at the car afterwards, you think of all he things that went right for me to be sitting here."
He said that it is "still humbling to watch [the crash] and know that I'm sitting here without a headache, which is amazing. [It's a] miracle on so many levels. Thankful for so many people."
He also touched on what kind of safety features in his car allowed him to survive, and revealed the sweet message he had for his daughters, who were at the track during the race and crash.
This is the first sit-down interview Newman has done, but it's not the first time he's talked about the crash. In late February, Newman released a statement thanking fans for their support as he recovered from his injuries.
"The outpouring of emotion from not only the NASCAR community, but across the country, has been truly humbling," Newman said. "I want to personally thank everyone including the Man upstairs for their support, encouragement and the numerous offers of assistance."
Newman's not sure when he'll return to racing, but he's working hard to compete with his fellow NASCAR drivers in the near future.
"I've spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the #6 car will be waiting and ready for my return," Newman said. "I'm looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Ford."
Newman was in Phoenix last week got the FanSheild 500 and reporters talked to him about the crash.
"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."
He was also asked about his return to the track which remains unclear.0comments
"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."
Newman has won 18 NASCAR races in his career, including the Daytona 500 in 2008.