NASCAR driver Ryan Newman continues to convalesce following his terrifying crash at the Daytona 500, but hasn’t set a timetable for his return. He suffered a head injury in the crash and was hospitalized for two days.
Roush Fenway Racing team president Steve Newmark updated the media on Newman’s condition before the start of Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Newmark read a statement from Newman expressing his gratitude for the support he has received. Newman was leading the Daytona 500 a week ago when, on the final lap, his car hit the outside wall in the tri-oval, went airborne, and was then hit again by Corey LaJoie. Once the car landed, it skidded down the front stretch before catching fire.
Newman’s was the first serious crash at Daytona since Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed in 2001. Fortunately, the outcome was much different, and Newman credited Roush Fenway Racing.
“I have to thank the guys back at the Roush Fenway Racing shop that built me a car not only fast enough to lead the final seconds of the Daytona 500, but strong enough to do its job under great distress, allowing me to survive such an accident,” Newman’s statement read.
Newman Remains in Neutral
Though the 42-year-old is making remarkable improvement from his injuries, he could be a long way away from returning to racing. Newman said he’s encouraged by the support from his employer.
“I’ve spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the No. 6 car will be waiting and ready for my return. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Racing Ford.”
Newmark said there is no timetable for Newman’s return.
“I can tell you what his timetable would like to be, which is as soon as possible, but there are some other hoops he’s got to jump through before that happens,” Newmark said. “Right now, we’re just taking it one step at a time. He has expressed unequivocally that this is where he wants to be, and he wants to be back in a race car.”
Even though Newman isn’t racing, he is still involved with the team, Newmark said.
“He’s been on the phone with (crew chief) Scott Graves and (substitute driver) Ross (Chastain). He is still very active and involved in the direction of the team.”
Chastain Drives On
While Newman is on the mend, Roush Fenway Racing tabbed Ross Chastain to temporarily take over the No. 6 car. Chastain is normally the full-time driver of the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series for the 2020 season.
“No one could ever take the place of Ryan Newman on the track, and I can’t wait to have him back,” Chastain posted on Twitter. “As we continue to pray for a full and speedy recovery, I’ll do my best to make him and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing proud.”
Chastain finished 27th our of 38 drivers in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400.