Only two days after crossing the finish line of the Daytona 500 upside down, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman leaves the Halifax Medical Center.

Not only has Newman left the hospital…he WALKED out the door holding the hands of his daughters!

After safety workers spent 20 minutes extricating Newman from the crashed race car, he was transported to Halifax Medical Center a short distance from the track – race fans can see the hospital behind the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway – where he was listed as being in serious condition with non life-threatening injuries. Neither Newman’s family or Roush-Fenway Racing have revealed any details about what Newman’s injuries were.

Racing is a dangerous sport and everyone involved in NASCAR understands the risks each time they get out on the track. But that doesn’t mean a bad crash doesn’t tug at a driver or affect him. After the race both Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie – both who were involved in Newman’s crash – were deeply affected by the wreck.

When Corey LaJoie climbed from his car at the end of the race, he dropped to his knees and was unaware of events until after he had left the infield care center.

Ryan Blaney was very distraught over the events on the track and has stepped back from the track for a few days.

Noting that their main concern is the continued recovery of Ryan Newman, Roush-Fenway Racing has announced that “melon man” Ross Chastain will step in for Ryan Newman and driver the number six car in the race at Las Vegas this weekend and until Newman returns to the track.

Ross Chastain has become one of the busies drivers in NASCAR. Last season he drove nearly every race in all three of the NASCAR series last season. This season he is registered as a competitor for the Xfinity Series driving for Kaulig Racing but will drive in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Cup series when the opportunity presents itself.

Chastain has earned the nickname of the “melon man” because he comes from eight generations of watermelon farmers in Florida. Whenever he wins a race, Chastain smashes a watermelon at the start/finish line and again in victory lane.

Speaking on his opportunity to drive the number six car Chastain said via Twitter, “no one could ever take the place of Ryan Newman on the track, and I can’t wait to have him back. 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.”