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Ryan Newman 'awake' day after major car crash at Daytona 500

Posted at 4:03 PM, Feb 18, 2020

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is "awake" at the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, one day after a finish-line crash at the Daytona 500, Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

The update from Roush Fenway Racing was the first since an initial update last night said that Newman was in serious condition, and did not have life-threatening injuries.

The statement indicated that he is able to speak with doctors and his family.

Newman's fellow drivers, and others who follow the sport have expressed their well wishes for Newman since Monday's crash.

"Ryan and his family have expressed their appreciation for the concern and heartfelt messages from across the country," Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement. "They are grateful for the unwavering support of the NASCAR community and beyond."

As Newman approached the finish line of the Daytona 500 on Monday, he was set to win his first Daytona 500 in 12 years.

But a nudge from behind sent Newman into the wall as his competitors crossed the finish line. The crash allowed Denny Hamlin to win his second straight Daytona 500.

As Hamlin celebrated the win, attention quickly turned to Newman, whose car spun out of control and burst into flames. After Newman's car struck the wall and flipped, it was then struck at full speed by Corey LaJoie's vehicle, causing Newman's car to flip again.

Emergency crews raced to rescue Newman following the stunning crash.

The celebration for Hamlin was subdued following the race.

"I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are," Hamlin said. "But No. 1, we're praying for Ryan. Worked really well with Ryan through this whole race, and obviously he got turned right there."

Ryan Blaney, who came in second place, described his view of the incident.

"We pushed Newman there to the lead, and then we got a push from the 11 (Danny Hamlin's car), and I made a move off 4 (Kevin Harvick's car) on Newman and he blocked it and I kind of went low and he blocked that, so then I was committed to just pushing him to the win and trying to have a Ford win it, and I don't know, we just got bumpers hooked up wrong and turned him," Blaney said. "I hope he's all right. Looked pretty good. Definitely was trying to push him to a win. I don't want to say those things happen. I feel really bad about it."

The Daytona 500 was pushed to Monday after rain forced the postponement of the race on Sunday.