At the end of the Daytona 500 on February 17, the NASCAR world collectively held its breath when Ryan Newman’s number six Roush-Fenway Racing went airborne and landed on its roof sliding down the track and across the finish line.
Safety workers were at Newman’s side in seconds and after several minutes, got the car turned upright and Newman out of the car where he was immediately taken to the Halifax Medical Center.
On Wednesday afternoon, Newman not only left the hospital, he did so on his own accord walking out the door with his daughters at his side holding his hand.
On Sunday morning, February 23, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Roush-Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark spoke with members of the media and gave an update on Ryan Newman and read a statement written by Newman.
While Newmark noted that there is no set timetable for Newman’s return to Roush-Fenway and the number six car, he did note that Newman wanted to return to racing as soon as possible; adding that they are taking it one step at a time. Newmark said, “Ryan’s objectives have not changed this year. His goal is to win the 2020 Cup championship.”
Though not at the track, Newman has been involved with Roush-Fenway and the number six car communicating with the team by phone from his home.
In Newman’s absence, Ross Chastain will be driving the number six car and has gotten off to a good start by topping the chart in practice. Chastain will start the Penoil 400 in fifteenth place. Chastain drives a Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi. In order to put Chastain behind the wheel of the number six Ford, Newmark needed permission not only from Ganassi; but from Chevrolet Vice President Jim Campbell as well.
Newmark read Newman’s statement as a part of the press conference:
“I’m sorry that I can’t be at the track in person, but I asked Steve to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all the support that was shown last week to both me and my family. The outpouring of emotion from not only the NASCAR community, but across the country has been truly humbling.
“I want to personally thank everyone, including the man upstairs, for their support, encouragement and the numerous offers of assistance. We always say that the NASCAR community is one big family and never has that been more evident to me than after seeing this family rally together and provide the comfort and support that has been shown to my family and me over the past few days. The calls and visits from the NASCAR executives and my friends and competitors has been truly uplifting.
“I want to thank everyone involved in my care, especially the staff at Halifax Medical Center, where I am convinced I received the best care available. I’m confident the efforts of each of those trained professionals played a major role in where I’m sitting today. And to the entire NASCAR organization, led by Jim France, thanks for being by my side the entire time. You truly stepped up to support me unconditionally when it mattered most.
“Most importantly, 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. I am truly indebted to each of you and it is unlikely I will ever be able to properly express to you how much the diligent effort with which you conduct your craftsmanship has affected me and my family. I hope you took pride in the photograph of me walking out of the hospital hand-in-hand with my daughters on Wednesday. Thank you. I can’t wait to get back in your race car.
“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones. I did sustain a head injury for which I’m currently being treated. The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days.
“Again, I want to thank each of you, from my partners, teammates and competitors and each and every fan across the country. Thank you everyone for the unparalleled concern and unwavering support. And to the media, who has acted with such respect and class during this time.
“I have 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 Ford.”