Ryan Newman's shocking crash at the end of the Daytona 500 on Monday has sent shockwaves through the NASCAR community. Even some drivers pointing out that they still put their lives in danger, despite all the steps NASCAR has taken in recent years to ensure their safety. On Friday, two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch took time to remind fans they are not invincible.
"I think sometimes you take it for granted," Busch said at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Friday, reports Motor Sport. "What we're doing, the severity of what we're doing, the course of action of what injury can happen – it can happen in any instance, we're not invincible."
"Safety is always an evolution," Busch, who finished 34th at the Daytona 500 Monday, continued. "There's going to be something else that happens that we have to go through and figure out the circumstances as to why it happened, how can we prevent it from happening again."
On Monday, Newman's No. 6 Ford was forced into a wall, then went airborne when another car hit his driver's side. The car flipped over multiple times and landed on its roof. Newman could not leave the car until after safety personnel put the fire out. The next day, Roush Fenway Racing said Newman was awake and already speaking. He was released from a Daytona Beach, Florida hospital on Wednesday.
Austin Dillon, who won the Daytona 500 in 2018 and finished in 12th this year, was concerned that some have become lax when worrying about driver safety because so many have seen drivers pop out of cars after big wrecks.
"You get numb to it a little bit because people just jump out of the cars," Dillon said Friday. "A really bad one of (Kyle) Larson's last year like we were talking about, we've watched it in the safety meetings before the (Daytona) 500."
"You just watch it and you still hear the 'that looks like it hurt,'" Dillon continued. "You just kind of say it's safe enough, you're just going to be a little sore the next day. Then, you watch how long it took Ryan (Newman) to get out, the amount of people it took to get him out and the safety workers doing their job, it definitely makes you think differently about it, for sure. The 'it can happen,' I guess is the next thing that's part of it. You never think about that, but it's like man, you can actually get hurt."
Newman's surprisingly quick recovery will not change how drivers' approach racing though, Dillon suggested.
NASCAR is taking the crash seriously, and Newman's car wreck was sent to NASCAR's Research and Development facility in Concord, North Carolina, reports FOX35.
"Kind of like and NTSB investigation... take that mindset and go find anything and everything they can to make the car safer," Andy Petree, competition director for Richard Childress Racing, told FOX35. "I've known Ryan a long time. 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."
The next NASCAR Cup Series race is Sunday. The Pennzoil 400 begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox, live from Las Vegas.
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