Ryan Newman was in New York on Wednesday morning to appear on the Today show to discuss his scary crash at the Daytona 500 last month. While on the streets of New York, TMZ caught up with Newman and they asked him about getting back on the track, which he hasn't been able to do since the crash. Newman revealed that he can drive and he's been working a race simulator to make sure he is as ready as he can be when he does return.
Newman, 42, also told TMZ he has no desire to retire and he said "I'm a little bit more appreciative" about his outlook on life.
"I know I was lucky, there's no doubt about that," Newman added.
"Really, I love it," he continued. "It's been a little bit painful to be out of the race car and to not be doing what I've done for so many years." The driver explained that he began racing at 4 years old, "so it's just kind of who I am."
During the final lap of the Daytona 500, Newman's No. 6 Ford was tapped by Ryan Blaney, which led to him spinning out of control, flipping in the air several times before hitting the wall where he was hit by Corey LaJoie's vehicle. Newman's car went on to skid down the track on its roof while on fire. He was then sent to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and he was released from the hospital 48 hours later.
"It's not just me, there's a whole group at NASCAR who's done a great job, from the tracks to the safety personnel, the drivers inside the cars, the cockpits, the containment seats that we have, there's so many levels of things that happened in the last 20 years I've been a part of the sport that helped me to be able to sit here today," Newman said.
One of the scary things about Newman's crash is he doesn't remember part of the crash because of the bruised brain injury he suffered.
"I was knocked out — there was a point where I don't remember a part of the race," he explained. "Realistically, I just feel so lucky. On so many levels, I feel so lucky."