NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is awake and speaking with family and doctors, after his horrific crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Roush Fenway Racing released an update on Tuesday, one day after Newman’s crash. Hours afterwards, Newman’s injuries were said to be serious, but not considered life-threatening.
Newman turned hard into the wall after getting bumped from behind by Ryan Blaney a few hundred feet from the finish line. Newman’s No. 6 Ford then flipped onto its roof, where he was hit in the driver’s side by another car at 190 mph. It took about 8 minutes for workers to roll his car rightside-up, as Newman was placed in an ambulance and taken to Halifax Medical Center.
There has not been a fatality in NASCAR’s elite Cup Series since Dale Earnhardt died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Earnhardt’s death probably saved Newman’s life, as NASCAR spent the last two decades working to improve safety regulations by installing energy-absorbing walls around tracks, mandating the use of head-and-neck restraints attached to helmets and continuing to make improvements to the cars.
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