To Ryan Newman, his frightening, life-threatening crash in last year's Daytona 500 didn’t happen. Newman began the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season Sunday with the crash firmly in his rearview mirror.
“I’ve heard stories and had conversations, but in my mind it still doesn’t exist. And I don’t know how to answer that, other than God deletes that chapter for a reason,” Newman said in a heartfelt interview on Fox’s pre-race show Sunday.
Also Read: Ryan Newman returns to Daytona
Ryan Newman crashed while heading for the checkered flag. His car flipped onto its roof and slid several hundred feet down the front stretch. It took safety personnel more than 15 minutes to cut Ryan Newman from his car. He was rushed to a Daytona Beach hospital, where he was placed in a medically-induced coma with a head injury.
Newman’s condition left the NASCAR community on pins and needles as it prayed for his life and a safe recovery.
“We got to his bedside and … I just stood there thinking, ‘Please God, please help him. You can’t take my son,’” Newman’s mom, Diane Newman, told Fox.
NASCAR fans will never forget the emotional moment when Ryan Newman miraculously walked out of the hospital two days later holding hands with his two daughters.
“They were extremely happy daddy was OK and got to walk out of the hospital. … He had a hand on both girls. That was big,” Newman’s father, Greg, told Fox.
Ryan Newman said being with his daughters, Brooklyn and Ashlyn, in the hospital helped him survive the crash and recover quickly.
“My oldest commented, ‘Daddy, you are going to have to keep living so we can spend time together,’” Newman told Fox. “That was pretty special. That was an amazing feeling because it pieced everything together, right? That’s all the answer that I needed.”
Ryan Newman returns from big crash
Ryan Newman missed three NASCAR Cup Series races after the accident, but returned to his Roush Fenway Racing car after NASCAR returned from a pandemic-induced break.
Despite the horrific crash and his brush with death, Newman says he had no reservations about returning to racing.
“People have asked me, why do you get back in a race car or did you talk to your daughters? … No,” Newman said on Fox. “They want me to do what I love and have fun. I get it. How can you not see the danger? I do. But that fear isn’t there. It’s just not.”
Ryan Newman acknowledges, however, that he is lucky to be alive.
“You look at the car and my helmet, you wouldn’t believe I am sitting here,” Newman said in the Fox interview. “There’s just no way. But I believe it was thanks to somebody from above.”
“He’s lucky to be alive and it’s a miracle God saved him,” Newman’s mother said. “It’s just unbelievable. He’s my miracle boy.”