Ryan Newman will be behind the wheel of his No. 6 Ford whenever NASCAR resumes its 2020 racing schedule. That’s the word from NASCAR, which confirmed on Monday that Newman has been medically cleared to drive again.
“We share Ryan’s enthusiasm in his return to the track. We look forward to Ryan returning to racing as soon as he is medically cleared to race,” the statement read.
On Sunday, Newman went on Fox Sports during the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series simulation race at Talladega Superspeedway. He talked about how he is ready to resume his racing season once the sport returns from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“That’s the absolute plan, for sure,” Newman said. “I’m healthy. I’ve been blessed with another layer of this situation giving me more time to heal and [I] look forward to being back in the seat, for sure.”
Newman Medically Cleared Minor Miracle
The crash that knocked Newman out of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 was reminiscent of the one that claimed the life of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 race. Fortunately, Newman’s outcome was much better.
Newman was hospitalized for two days and did suffer a brain bruise as a result of his crash. He told reporters in March how fortunate he was to survive the accident.
“It’s great to be alive,” Newman said. “If you looked at my car, it’s a miracle.”
Now, less than two months after the crash, Newman is ready to race again, telling Fox Sports he is completely healthy.
“I’m excited to be healthy and at some point to get back in the race car when the world starts turning again, and thankful for the people and support that I’ve gotten. Friends and family and fans, you name it, that have prayed for me and given me this multitude of miracles that has given me this opportunity to get back in the seat at some point,” Newman said.
Newman Ready for Season Whenever it Resumes
While Newman has been medically cleared and is ready to race, NASCAR is still being cautious about a start date. The governing body suspended the season on March 15 in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. They targeted the May 9th race at Martinsville as a potential restart date, but issued a statement on April 17 saying they were postponing that race.
“NASCAR is postponing the scheduled events on May 8-9 at Martinsville Speedway,” the organization’s statement read. “Our intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined. The health and safety of our competitors, employees, fans, and the communities in which we run continues to be our top priority. We will continue to consult with health experts and local, state, and federal officials as we assess future scheduling options.”
Three states, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina have all expressed interest in hosting NASCAR’s first race when it returns. The earliest NASCAR would resume its season would be at the NASCAR All-Star Race scheduled for May 16 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, or at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on May 24.