DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR driver Ryan Newman was released from the hospital Wednesday, Feb. 19, just two days after his terrifying crash Monday during the last lap of the Daytona 500.
Roush Fenway Racing tweeted a photo of Newman walking out of the hospital with his two daughters. Earlier in the day, the racing team posted a photo of Newman and his daughters in his hospital room along with a statement saying he was continuing to show great improvement.
“True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends, and family while playing with his two daughters,” Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement.
After he was extricated from his destroyed car, Newman was taken to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona where doctors indicated that he was in serious condition but did not have life-threatening injuries.
On Tuesday, the 42-year-old was awake and talking to family and doctors.
“Ryan continues to express his appreciation for the outpouring of support from across the country, and he and his family are grateful for the immense level of support that has been provided by the NASCAR community and beyond,” Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement.
Several of Newman’s fellow NASCAR drivers reacted to the news on social media.
“This is so awesome!!” Kurt Busch wrote on Twitter. “Two things I’ve taken away from this: 1) There will always be risk involved in our sport. 2) The safety advancements NASCAR has made are incredible.”
“This is awesome,” Austin Dillon wrote on Twitter. “Thank you, Jesus.”
Kevin Harvick retweeted the photo of Newman in the hospital with the caption, “So darn happy to see this picture.”
Driver Corey LaJoie, who was unable to avoid hitting Newman’s car after it hit the wall, was thankful to make it out of the crash alive and to hear about Newman’s recovery.
“While I was down there I did send up a ‘thank you, Jesus, for your hand of protection’ prayer and at that moment I had no idea who I hit or the severity of it,” LaJoie wrote on Instagram. “I’m hearing very optimistic things on Ryan’s condition so your prayers are working guys, keep it rolling.”
Newman had taken the lead in the final lap of Daytona 500 on Monday evening when driver Ryan Blaney hit his bumper, causing Newman to spin into the outside wall. Newman’s car bounced off the wall, flipped into the air and dropped back down in front of the car driven by LaJoie.
LaJoie hit Newman’s car, causing the car to go airborne again, up and over LaJoie’s car, eventually landing upside down. Newman’s car skidded on its roof in a shower of flames and sparks across the finish line before coming to rest on the track’s apron.
Rescue crews had to cut the car’s roof off to extricate Newman, who was rushed to the hospital.