Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Newman was in serious condition Monday following a crash in the Daytona 500 race on Monday night in an incident that prompted a response from President Donald Trump.
In an update, his racing team said he is expected to survive although he was seriously injured.
“Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life-threatening,” Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement. “We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time,” they added.
Before the crash, Newman was trying to position his car ahead of Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney. His car then spun and crashed into the wall before flipping over and hitting another driver’s vehicle.
Hamlin, the eventual winner, was shaken up by the crash, telling ESPN: “One day [winning the race] will all sink in. But right now all I’m thinking about is Ryan Newman.”
Trump offered his sympathies following the crash. The president had attended the Daytona 500 opening on Sunday and told the drivers to start their engines.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020
“Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave NASCAR driver,” he wrote.
It took two long hours before NASCAR announced Newman had non-life threatening injuries and was in serious condition at nearby Halifax Medical Center.
“We had been waiting for information just like everyone else, so to hear some positive news tonight is a relief,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director for Ford Performance Motorsports. “The entire Ford family is sending positive thoughts for his recovery, but our first thoughts remain with his family and his team.”
Ryan Blaney, who locked bumpers with Newman and turned him sideways, sounded crestfallen afterward. Corey LaJoie, who slammed into Newman’s sideways car at full speed, watched a replay and insisted he had no way to avoid the contact. Fox Sports analyst and four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon may have summed it up best.
“Safety’s come a long way in this sport, but sometimes we are reminded that it is a very dangerous sport,” Gordon said quietly as the broadcast came to a close with Newman’s condition still unknown.
After the race ended, Newman’s racing team called on people to stop speculating on his injuries.
“We ask that out of respect for privacy that you please do not speculate on Ryan Newman’s condition until an official statement has been issued by @NASCAR, @FordPerformance, or @RoushFenway racing,” they wrote in a Twitter post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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