Ryan Newman's Hometown Friends Send Love Following His Daytona 500 Crash

Many around the racing world have reached out to Ryan Newman following his fiery crash during the completion of the Daytona 500 on Monday. Newman saw his car go airborne and erupt into flames. The aftermath saw Newman needing to be taken off by an ambulance to a local hospital.

Newman remains in "serious condition" on Tuesday but is awake and speaking to doctors. Peers of Newman have sent their best wishes to him as have many fans of the sport. More close to home, Newman's hometown friends have reacted to the troubling scene.

Irish Saunders, one of Newman's friends but also a big name in the industry due to his work at Hoosier Racing Tires, told their local news station, WSBT-22 in South Bend, Indiana, that he was a nervous wreck when he saw the crash.

"He was a friend number one," Saunders told the outlet. "A lot of these guys that are in NASCAR today came through the USAC ranks, came through Hoosier racing tire and I got to know and become good friends with. When that did come out from Steve O'Donnell from NASCAR that it was non-life threatening it was a huge relief."

Saunders went on to thank the enhancements of NASCAR in regards to its safety. This, though, comes as a contrast to Newman's previous remarks about the danger of the high speeds that the cars are reaching nowadays.

"Maybe 20 years ago if that crash would have happened, Ryan might not have been here today," said Saunders. "But it makes you stop and think about life in general."

Saunders noted that he is now eagerly awaiting being able to speak with his friend.

The station also spoke with one of its anchors, who followed Newman throughout his career from the beginning, Charlie Adams. He explained how he was taken aback at the scary scene, admitting that he thought to himself, "Oh my gosh, that might be it."

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Along with his hometown friends, former drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon have sent their best wishes to a fellow competitor of theirs.

The preliminary entry list for this Sunday's Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway saw no driver listed under the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing car that is driven by Newman.