The racing industry is currently awaiting any news about the status of Ryan Newman, who experienced a terrifying crash moments before he could reach the finish line in the Daytona 500. In the wake of the crash, Joe Gibbs, the owner of the eponymous Joe Gibbs Racing, issued an apology to the Newman camp after the Denny Hamlin team celebrated their win. The Hamlin team were reportedly not aware of the severity of Newman's crash when they celebrated the athlete's Daytona 500 win, per 247 Sports.
Joe Gibbs issues an apology for the Denny Hamlin team celebrating winning the #Daytona500 after the Ryan Newman wreck. Says they did not see the severity of it and are praying for him. Somber. pic.twitter.com/sjqf8SkNvQ— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) February 18, 2020
NASCAR reported that Hamlin had won the Daytona 500 moments after Newman, who had been leading in the final lap, experienced the cash. The crash caused his vehicle to flip several times and to catch fire. Newman was later loaded into an ambulance at the scene and transported to the hospital. While his exact condition is currently not known, WFTV sports anchor Joe Kepner did hear word from a Penske employee who told him that Newman was awake.
In addition to Gibbs, several others in the racing industry have spoken out about Newman's crash. Legendary race car driver Jeff Gordon, who had been commenting on the race for FOX alongside Mike Joy, expressed concern for Newman.
"Safety has come along way in this sport, but sometimes we are reminded that it is a very dangerous sport," Gordon said as he appeared to become emotional during the FOX broadcast. "Just... thoughts and prayers are with Ryan Newman and his family."
Following much speculation regarding Newman's condition, NASCAR officially released a statement regarding the athlete in which they noted that his injuries were "not life threatening."
"Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated that his injuries are not life threatening," the statement read. "We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time. We appreciate your patience and cooperation and we will provide more information as it becomes available."
NASCAR's update comes a little over an hour after the incident occurred. Upon hearing the news about Newman's condition, fans on social media expressed their joy over the news that the driver's injuries were not life threatening, as many initially feared that to be the case.