Less than two days after everyone involved feared the worst, Purdue alumnus Ryan Newman is headed home.
The veteran NASCAR driver was involved in a scary final-lap crash at Monday’s Daytona 500, which left him in “serious condition” with non-life threatening injuries. News continued to improve and by Wednesday morning, a post appeared on social media of a smiling Newman in a hospital gown.
Hours later, he exited Halifax Medical Center hand in hand with his two daughters.
“Ryan Newman continues to show great improvement after Monday night’s last-lap accident at Daytona International Speedway,” Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement shortly before Newman’s release. “The veteran driver is fully alert and walking around Halifax Medical Center. True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters."
Newman was leading the Daytona 500 exiting the final corner of the final lap, but was sent into the wall after a push from Ryan Blaney turned him sideways.
After hitting the wall and flipping, Newman’s car was struck while in the air by Corey Lajoie. Rescue crews put out the fire and Newman was taken away by ambulance.
The 42-year-old Newman has 18 career NASCAR wins, including the Daytona 500 in 2008.
Denny Hamlin wound up taking this year’s checkered flag, in the second-closest finish in the race’s history.