Ryan Newman‘s life nearly took a devastating turn at last year’s Daytona 500 in a brutal car wreck. Newman managed to escape the freak accident without any significant injuries. He’s now set to race on the track where he suffered the worst crash of his NASCAR career. With that in mind, Newman is competing in the event with a completely different mindset.
Ryan Newman survives scary crash at Daytona 500
Nearly a year ago, Ryan Newman’s life almost took a tragic turn after a terrifying crash at the Daytona 500.
Newman was in the position to capture his second career win in the event, but things quickly went sideways on the final lap. The 43-year-old grabbed the lead on turn four ahead of Denny Hamlin.
Ryan Blaney also moved in front of Hamlin, but as he attempted to grab first place from Newman, the veteran driver blocked him. At that moment, Blaney clipped Newman, who went barreling into the exterior wall, hitting almost head-on, and flipped over the field of cars behind him.
As he flipped in mid-air, he collided with Corey Lajoie, leading his car to skid on the track leaving a shower of sparks that eventually caught fire. The AMR safety crew quickly doused the flames on the rear of the car and attended to Newman.
He received treatment at a local hospital, while he miraculously avoided severe injuries with no broken bones or internal organ damage. However, Newman suffered some brain bruising from the accident that forced him to miss the next couple of months on the track.
He has now memory of the crash or his recovery process that followed the incident. Newman returned on May 17, 2020, for The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway, where he finished sixth.
Ryan Newman’s Daytona 500 crash serves as ‘magnifier’ for his life
A year after experiencing the worst crash of his professional racing career, Ryan Newman will be on the track for the Daytona 500 this weekend.
Although Newman doesn’t remember the accident, it’s an incident that he has heightened his appreciation for his life. (H/T NASCAR.com)
“People have asked me have you changed, and I continually say I haven’t changed, but what happens…t’s a magnifier,” Newman said. “The things that you love, you love more because you were potentially taken or a part of you was taken for even a little bit of time, even.
“Yeah, it’s opened my eyes and made me more appreciative of a lot of things in life, and probably a little bit more positive and I guess jolly, you could say, in respect to some of the other things that don’t go so well. I feel like it has magnified my personality for all the positive things, and therefore decreased some of the negative things. I don’t think that’s considered a change, to me, that’s just an adjustment.”
It was a lifechanging event that provided him a greater gratitude for his family. Things could have easily headed in a devastating route, given the nature of his brutal crash. Instead, Newman has an opportunity to continue his life and professional racing career.
Redemption to begin the 2021 season
Much of the focus will be on Ryan Newman’s return to the track, but it’s a chance to start the 2021 season on a strong note.
Newman had the lead last year before the wreck and has finished in the top 10 at the Daytona 500 six times in his career. That includes two top-10 finishes in the last three trips.
The 43-year-old is closer to end of his NASCAR career, but the Daytona 500 this year represents something completely different for him.