Just two days after a horrific crash in the final lap of the Daytona 500, Ryan Newman was back on his feet and joking around with hospital staff.
NASCAR was hush-hush about Newman's condition after the accident, but after a few hours, the league announced that the driver sustained only "non-life-threatening injuries."
Ryan Newman Continues Great Improvement pic.twitter.com/xIZRiaRApi— Roush Fenway (@roushfenway) February 19, 2020
At first glance, the fiery crash was extremely concerning. Newman had been leading the pack into the last lap of the race when his car flipped over, was hit by other vehicles and burst into flames. The car was nearly unrecognizable, and fans feared the worst for the driver.
People are now crediting Newman, who advocated for stronger protective cages inside NASCAR vehicles, as the reason he survived the accident. The additional protective bar above the driver was dubbed the "Newman bar" may have actually saved his life in this crash.
Here is the final lap of the Daytona 500 in which Ryan Newman's car was flipped at the line.— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 18, 2020
We will continue to keep you updated on his status as we learn more. pic.twitter.com/qkEwQBpoP0
Thankfully, this frightening accident didn't result in any major injuries. Many longtime NASCAR fans took this accident as a moment to reflect back on the heartbreaking loss of racing legend, Dale Earnhardt, who passed away in a racing accident back in 2001.
Luckily, this was not Newman's fate.