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NASCAR driver Ryan Newman on surviving Daytona crash: 'The angels aligned'

Ryan Newman says it's "a miracle on so many levels" that he escaped a catastrophic crash at the Daytona 500 with relatively minor injuries.
/ Source: TODAY

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is thankful for the "miracle" of emerging from a fiery crash at the Daytona 500 last month with relatively minor injuries.

"(It's) still humbling to watch it and know that I'm sitting here without a headache, which is amazing," Newman said on TODAY Wednesday in an exclusive interview, his first since the Feb. 17 crash.

"Just a miracle on so many levels, and thankful for so many people for prayers, for all the things that went into me being safer in that situation."

Newman, 42, who spent two days in the hospital following the crash on the final lap of the race, said he suffered a "bruised brain," but no broken bones or other injuries despite being knocked unconscious at one point.

"On so many levels, I feel so lucky," he said. "You look at the crash, you think that's spectacular in a bad way. You look at the car afterwards, you think about all the things of what happened right for me to be sitting here."

He was released from a Florida hospital on Feb. 19, with his team at Roush Fenway announcing the surprising news on Twitter by posting a photo showing Newman walking hand in hand with his two daughters.

"The angels aligned and held a really good grip with their hands,'' he said.

The Indiana native announced a week after the crash that he plans to return to racing this season to compete for a championship. Newman told TODAY that the timing wasn't clear yet.

"We're working on it," he said. "As soon as I possibly can."