Ryan Newman was involved in a big car crash at the Daytona 500 on Monday which led to him being sent to the hospital for his injuries. The crash happened during the final lap of the race when Ryan Blaney nudged Newman's car and it led to him spinning out, hitting a wall, flipping multiple times in the air and landing on its roof before skidding along the track. Newman suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but the question is how did he survive the crash?
"It's been amazing," Terry Trammell, a racing safety consultant and retired orthopedic surgeon said. "They've turned this whole thing around over time."
Earnhardt died of head injuries and it led to NASCAR adding mandated head and neck restraints to the cars as well as energy-absorbing walls to the tracks. There have still been injuries, but there hasn't been an incident like Earnhardt's crash.
That said, fans and experts were still worried about Newman because of the nature of the crash. Racing legend Mario Andretti talked about his crash in 2003 and said there's not much you can do to in that situation.
"I don't know if you've seen my flip in 2003 at Indy," Andretti said. "That's my last memory of something like that. Whenever it happens, you just hang on for dear life and hope there's no vacancy upstairs and hope you can live through it. You don't know. Everything happens really fast, but at the same time you know it could hurt but you just hang on. In the moment, you're just along for the ride. Nothing else."
Not only did Newman survive the crash, but it also looks like he's recovering from his injuries very quickly. On Wednesday, Roush Fenway racing tweeted a photo of Newman out of the hospital bed smiling with his daughters.
"Ryan Newman continues to show great improvement after Monday night's last-lap accident at Daytona International Speedway," the company said in a statement. "The veteran driver is fully alert and walking around Halifax Medical Center. True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters."