Following his terrifying Daytona 500 crash, Ryan Newman's vehicle will be studied by NASCAR in the hopes of identifying ways to improve the safety of sport of racing. After the No. 6 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing went airborne, flipped, was hit by a second car, and caught fire during the final lap of Monday's race, the beaten vehicle was loaded onto a trailer and hauled to NASCAR's Research and Development facility in Concord, North Carolina.
"Kind of like and NTSB investigation...take that mindset and go find anything and everything they can to make the car safer," said Andy Petree, competition director for Richard Childress Racing, Fox 13 reports.
According to Petree, NASCAR will likely be looking at the damage to Newman's driver's side door, which was hit at full speed by driver Corey LaJoie's vehicle.
"It's a very sensitive area for impact because like I said, 'you can't predict every kind of crash,'" he said. "This one was upside down and then another impact after that from the front of another car to that driver's area with the car inverted."
Newman, who has long lobbied for safer regulations within the sport, will also likely have input throughout the investigation.
"I've known Ryan a long time," Petree said. "He is one of the smarter drivers out there. He does have that engineering mind and always thinking about safety because he's the one sitting in there."
Prior to his Monday crash, Newman had been in several other crashes. His car lost its right tire and flipped into the air after being slammed into the wall at 2003's Daytona 500. He had a similar crash-landing at Talladega in 2009, after which NASCAR added a bar near the driver's head to protect the driver in case of roll overs. It was dubbed the "Newman Bar."
"The front of the roof actually came down some so they added another payload bar, so there's two of them in the upper windshield area," Petree explained. "That's made the car a lot tougher in that particular area of the car in those rollover accidents and then post rollover impact."
Petree added that the continued safety measures have led to a new atmosphere in the world of racing, allowing drivers a more fearless mindset.
"It creates almost this atmosphere we see today where the drivers are not afraid to mix it up with each other," he said. "You see a lot of pushing and shoving and mixing it up with each other at 200 mph."
NASCAR is not expected to release any answers or information regarding the crash and further safety measures anytime soon, as the Research and Development team takes its time and is very thorough.
Meanwhile, Newman continues to recover at Halifax Medical Center and is said to be "awake and speaking."