NASCAR driver Ryan Newman in serious condition after crash at Daytona 500

The 42-year-old driver is in serious but not life-threatening condition after a fiery crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is in serious condition after a frightening crash on the final lap of Monday's Daytona 500 that left him skidding across the finish line in a fiery wreck.

Doctors said Newman's injuries are serious but not life-threatening, NASCAR said in a statement Monday night.

"We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time," NASCAR said.

Newman's team, Roush Fenway Racing, shared an update Tuesday afternoon, saying, "Ryan Newman remains under the care of doctors at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is awake and speaking with family and doctors.

"Ryan and his family have expressed their appreciation for the concern and heartfelt messages from across the country. They are grateful for the unwavering support of the NASCAR community and beyond."

Newman, 42, had taken the lead on the final lap when driver Ryan Blaney clipped the back of Newman's No. 6 Ford Mustang, sending it into a wild spin and causing it to flip upside down. Driver Corey LaJoie then slammed into Newman's car and sent it airborne. It skidded across the finish line on its roof in a hail of sparks and flames.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman (6) is in serious condition after this wreck on the final lap of Monday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Peter Casey / Reuters

Newman, who won the 2008 Daytona 500, ultimately finished ninth. This is his second frightening crash at Daytona, as his car flipped repeatedly and landed on its roof at the 2003 race.

A crash at the 2001 Daytona 500 resulted in the tragic death of NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Sr., whose son, former NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., tweeted his support of Newman after Monday's crash.

Ryan Newman before Monday's Daytona 500Chris Graythen / Getty Images

"Big prayers for Newman," he wrote.

Daytona winner Denny Hamlin and LaJoie also offered their well wishes after the race.

"First a (sic) foremost I want to give well wishes and prayers to @RyanJNewman,'' he tweeted. "I had absolutely NO IDEA of the severity of the crash until I got to victory lane. There’s very little communication after the finish and i had already unhooked my radio. It’s not anyone’s fault."

"Dang I hope Newman is ok,'' LaJoie tweeted. "That is worst case scenario and I had nowhere to go but smoke."

President Donald Trump, the race's grand marshal, also offered his prayers for Newman, whom he called "a great and brave driver."

NASCAR has said it will release any updates on his condition when they are made available.