Head Injury Sidelines Ryan Newman, Says Roush Fenway Racing

Ryan Newman and daughters, 2017
credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs 

Ryan Newman sustained a head injury in the vicious crash that occurred on the last lap of the Daytona 500 Monday night, according to his statement delivered Sunday afternoon by Roush Fenway Racing’s president, Steve Newmark.

You’ll find the full text of Newman’s statement below, but the short version is that, after thanking the staff of the Halifax Medical Center, the safety crews, and those who built his car, the Indiana native said, “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.”

Newman also cleared up any doubt as to whether he would drive again. “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.”

After reading his driver’s statement, Newmark said, “I also spoke to Ryan just before I came on here, and in talking to him he wanted to reiterate to me again that his goals for this year haven’t changed. His objective is to win the 2020 Cup championship, so hopefully that gives you a little insight into his mindset.”

Newmark also indicated that not only was he bound by HIPAA privacy regulations in providing specifics on Newman’s condition, but he said the driver himself wants to be the one answering questions.

Newmark praised the NASCAR leadership team for their support during the harrowing experience.

“When we arrived at the hospital that night, NASCAR with Matt Hamphrey was already there coordinating logistics. And then during that entire period -- so that evening and the days that followed -- Jim France, Lesa France, Mike Helton, Steve Phelps, Steve O’Donnell, Eric Nyquist, and Ben Kennedy were either there at the hospital or providing support in whatever way we needed,” Newmark said.

“I know that really lifted the spirits of Ryan’s family and our entire team to see that, and I think it speaks to the caliber of people that they are when you look at the lengths that they went to support us, and it also gives a lot of faith that we’re in pretty good hands going forward.”

The RFR president went on to say that many drivers, team owners, and presidents had reached out to the team, and that "a lot of the drivers visited Ryan." Newmark specified that he'd heard from Joe Gibbs and that Denny Hamlin went to the hospital after the race.

"We really appreciate the respect that they showed him, and it’s nothing that I wouldn’t expect from an organization with that integrity and that level of class," he stated.

In addition, he thanked Chip Ganassi and Jim Campbell at Chevrolet who assisted by clearing the way for Ross Chastain to fill in for Newman.

“Both of them immediately said, ‘You have our blessing,’ and offered unequivocally any support that they could provide to help us through this situation. We also talked to Kaulig Racing and Ross’ agent to put this together,” said Newmark.

He finished his remarks by thanking the members of the media for their concern and the respect shown for Newman and his family.

“Although we tried to do our best to get you guys updates, we fully recognize that there were a lot of gaps in those updates, and that in this day and age of instant communication, social media, that there was immense pressure on most of you out there to fill those gaps with speculation, conjecture, wild theories, and the reality of it is the regular NASCAR reporters didn’t do that, and we really appreciate the respect you showed us and how you approached the whole situation.”

When asked about the process for Newman's return, Newmark said, "There are three groups that are going to dictate when he returns, because he has expressed unequivocally that this is where he wants to be, and he wants to be back in a race car. Those three groups are gonna be Ryan and his family, his doctors, and then NASCAR and their medical team. Our assumption is once all three of those sign off, then we’ll see him back in a race car.”

The full text of Newman's statement, courtesy of Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance:

Head Injury Sidelines Ryan Newman, Says Roush Fenway Racing Head Injury Sidelines Ryan Newman, Says Roush Fenway Racing Reviewed by Janine Cloud on Sunday, February 23, 2020 Rating: 5

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