DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR has announced Monday night that cup series driver Ryan Newman is in serious condition following a scary crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.
Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. Doctors have indicated his injuries are non-life threatening.
“We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time,” Newman’s team Roush Fenway Racing released in a statement Monday night. “we appreciate your patience and cooperation and we will provide more information as it becomes available.”
The 42-year-old was in the lead on the final lap when Denny Hamlin, who was in third, pushed Ryan Blaney in second. Blaney then caught the back bumper of Newman, pushing him hard into the wall. The 2008 winner of the Daytona 500 was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Drivers were stricken with concern, including a rattled Corey LaJoie, the driver who hit Newman’s car as it was flipping.
Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag, winning his second Daytona 500 in a row and third overall.
“I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are,” Hamlin said. “But number one, we are praying for Ryan.”
Team owner Joe Gibbs apologized after the race for the winning team celebration.
“We didn’t know until victory lane,” Gibbs said. “I know that for a lot of us, participating in sports and being in things where there are some risks, in a way, that’s what they get excited about. Racing, we know what can happen, we just dream it doesn’t happen. We are all just praying now for the outcome on this.”
The 62nd running of the “Great American Race” was postponed Sunday due to rain.
Runner-up Blaney said the way the final lap shook out, with Newman surging ahead of Hamlin, that Blaney got a push from Hamlin that locked him in behind Newman in a move of brand alliance for Ford.
“We pushed Newman there to the lead and then we got a push from the 11 … I was committed to just pushing him to the win and having a Ford win it and got the bumpers hooked up wrong,” he said. “It looked bad.”
See the full statement below: