Daytona 500: Ryan Newman Has 'No Memory' of Terrifying Car Wreck From Last Year

Ryan Newman is back at the Daytona 500, which takes place this Sunday. Last year, Newman was seconds away from winning "The Great American Race" for the second time in his career but was involved in a fiery crash that led to him being sent to the hospital and miss three races due to a head injury. When talking to Motorsport.com, Newman, 43, said he has "no memory" of the scary event.

"God works in mysterious ways and one of those mysterious ways that I can’t answer is the deletion of that chapter or that part of my hard drive that was that day, so that I can’t remember the potential tragedy that wasn’t,” Newman said. "So, I don’t have any fear because I don’t have any memory. If you’ve ever been in a car accident or you know somebody who has been in a car accident and they were conscious the whole time, they will always carry that fear with them. "I have no memory, therefore I have no fear, but it’s also my passion and my love and what I enjoy doing."

Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500, but everyone was worried about Newman. Racing legends like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnardt Jr. sent their well wishes to Newman and his family, while Hamiln and his team were under scrutiny for celebrating the victory amid the crash. Newman was released from the hospital a few days after the crash and returned for NASCAR's fifth Cup Series race of the season in Darlington in May. Newman, who hasn't won a Cup Series race since 2017, finished 25th in the 2020 Cup Series Standings.

Newman said during the offseason, he stumbled upon a YouTube video that showed every angle of his wreck at the Daytona 500, which led to him getting emotional. "It brought tears to my eyes. Like, ‘Damn,’ ” he said. "But those are tears of respect and appreciation, not tears of sadness, because I was here and I was able to watch it and know that just down the hallway my kids were going to wake up shortly.”

For this year's race, Newman will start at the No. 7 position and is confident he can come out on top. "It’s the most amazing job you could ever have, and that’s where my focus is. I just am doing my best to continue and try to become a Cup champion,” he said. ..."I still have another opportunity and God has given me that opportunity and I’ll enjoy it with my two beautiful girls and our team together."