NASCAR driver Ryan Newman has been hospitalized with “serious injuries” that are said to be “non-life-threatening” after his car was involved in a horrific crash during the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Monday night.
According to Associated Press, NASCAR shared news of Newman’s condition nearly two hours after he was removed for his car, reporting the 42-year-old driver was in serious condition at the nearby Halifax Medical Center.
On Tuesday, Roush Fenway Racing provided an update on Newman’s condition, stating, “He is awake and speaking with family and doctors.”
During the race on Monday night, driver Ryan Blaney locked bumpers with Newman’s vehicle, sending the car skidding sideways, at which point the car driven by Corey LaJoie slammed into the side of Newman’s car at full speed, sending the car into the air and skidding upside down on the pavement.
AP reports the car had caught fire when it skidded to a stop and had to be turned onto its tires in order to extricate the driver.
Denny Hamlin, racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, was the first car to make it to the finish line, where he and his team celebrated their win. Hamlin later apologized, not realizing the severity of the crash when celebrating the win.
“Some people may have saw us and said, ‘Those guys are celebrating when there’s a serious issue going on,’” Gibbs said. “I apologize to everybody. We really didn’t know. We got in the winner’s circle and then that’s when people told us. I wanted to explain that to everyone.”
He added: “That’s what makes it so hard. Such a close-knit community, you know everybody… If you think about all the wrecks that we’ve had over the last how many number of years, some of them have been real serious. We’ve been real fortunate.”
Hamlin shared similar sentiments on Twitter: