Nearly a week after Ryan Newman's fiery crash at the Daytona 500 that left him hospitalized, the NASCAR driver's father, Greg Newman is speaking out and revealing in an off-camera interview with a local news channel that he is "glad" his son is home and walking. In an interview with ABC News affiliate, WFTV-9 in Volusia County, Florida, Greg was a man of little words and shared how happy he was of his son's recovery.
Newman's father has been a big part of his son's life and racing career, encouraging him well into the sport with go-karting early on. However, Greg's biggest claim to fame with Newman came when his son won the Daytona 500 in 2008 alongside the doting father, who was his spotter at the time. He later added in an interview with The News Advance that to have his father with him was a "dream come true" and a kind of "reassurance."
"He's watched me for 26 years driving a car and he knows when I've got one in the bag and when I don’t, and he knows when it's close. I could tell [from his voice] when we got into turn three [on the last lap] that it was going to be a good run, and he turned out to be right," he said at the time of his father, who was in his in-ears during the race.
Because of their mutual obsession over racing, Newman and his father have grown incredibly close over the years. In fact, the NASCAR champion once rode around in a car his dad built him when he was just 9 years old.
"It was a quartermidget," Greg said at the time in an interview with The News Advance. "We took it to a parking lot to test it. He was riding on a Nerf bar, reached in front of me to where I couldn’t see and I hit a light pole. It put him and I both in a hospital. I was unconscious for a day. My mother said the race car’s gone and that was the end."
On Wednesday, Newman's team, Roush Fenway Racing made the announcement of their driver's recovery alongside a photo of the 42-year-old South Bend, Indiana native walking out of Halifax Health Medical Center, holding the hands of his two daughters, Brooklyn Sage and Ashlyn Olivia, of whom he shares with recently separated, estranged wife, Krissie Newman.
Prior to Roush's update, his racing team had shared that Newman was up and walking around the hospital: "True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters," they stated in a tweet.0comments
On Feb. 17, Newman crashed his No. 6 Ford after another vehicle hit his vehicle during the Daytona 500, causing him to spin out and strike a wall before going airborne and getting struck by another race car. Safety crews rushed immediately to help the NASCAR star, whose vehicle was slid upside-down on its driver's side.
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