NASCAR driver Ryan Newman suffered head injury in Daytona 500 crash

Feb. 23 (UPI) — Less than a week after a fiery crash at the end of the 62nd running of the Daytona 500, Ryan Newman provided an update on the injuries he sustained on the final lap of the race.

Newman wrote a statement that was read before Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones,” Newman said in the statement. “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.”

Currently, there is no timetable for Newman’s return to racing. Roush Fenway Racing said the driver is determined to get back to the track following the devastating wreck at the “Great American Race” on Feb. 17.

“He has expressed unequivocally that this is where he wants to be and he wants to be back in a race car,” Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark said. “Ryan actually wants to be the one in front of you to answer those [health] questions.

“He and I talked about that, and he’s kind of chomping at the bit to get back here and I think he feels that would be most appropriate for him to be behind the mic answering a lot of those questions.”

Newman, 42, was the race leader on the final lap of the Daytona 500 when he was bumped by Ryan Blaney just before the finish line, sending him into the outside wall and into an airborne spin while upside down.

Newman’s car flipped several times and was sliding on its side when Corey LaJoie, traveling at full speed, slammed into it. His car crossed the finish line on its roof and in ninth place before coming to a stop.

Newman was removed from the car and taken to the hospital by an ambulance with injuries that were described as serious but not life-threatening. He was released from Halifax Medical Center on Wednesday.

There hasn’t been a fatality in NASCAR’s Cup Series since Dale Earnhardt died in a crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

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