While the racing world waits for word of Ryan Newman's condition following a devastating car crash during the final lap of this year's Daytona 500, WFTV sports anchor Joe Kepner has word that he was awake following the crash. In the aftermath of the crash, Kepner said that members of Newman's crew weren't sure if the driver was OK. However, a Penske employee did say that Newman was conscious.
The crash occurred moments before Newman reached the finish line. While he was in the lead throughout the final lap, his car to flip several times and to catch on fire. He has since been loaded into an ambulance following the incident and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
Fox anchor Mike Joy also updated viewers as to Newman's status, though there's been very little information to go on.
"Ryan Newman has been helped from his car by the AMR safety team," Joy stated. "He's been loaded into an ambulance, taken to a local hospital. That's all the information we can provide you at this time."
Newman's crash was the one of several major wrecks to occur during this year's Daytona 500. One of the largest happened during lap 181 when Brad Keselowski being turned into the wall and taking a slew of cars out with him. The initial crash appeared to be a result of a push by Joey Logano and Aric Almirola, who also were taken out in the scene.
Afterward, Keselowski called his crash "just one of those racing deals."
"Unfortunately, it didn't come together there at the end. I probably made a little bit of a bad move not blocking the 6 and 95. I didn't know the 95 was that darn fast. He pushed the 6 like a rocket and I didn't think they would come with that big of a run and when they did, I didn't cover it. I put myself into a position where when they did wreck, I couldn't make it through."
Other major crash happened during lap 199, when number 77, Ross Chastain, tried to move inside of third-place Ryan Preece. However, Chastain caused a multi-car pileup, eliminating him along with Preece, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano -- among others.
The winner of this year's Daytona 500 was Denny Hamlin, marking the third win during his career.