A safety feature named after him may have helped save Ryan Newman's life at the Daytona 500.
Newman collided with Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie on the final lap of Monday's race, causing his car to flip into the air, land on its roof, and set alight.
According to Pop Culture, in 2009 Newman had campaigned for NASCAR to improve its safety features, prompting the organization to add a secondary bar across the front window of its car's roll cages.
The feature became known as the "Newman bar," according to an ESPN report from 2013.
A safety feature colloquially nicknamed after him may have helped save Ryan Newman's life in his devastating Daytona 500 crash on Monday.
Newman clashed with Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie in the final lap of Monday's race in Florida, causing his car to flip into the air, land on its roof, and set on fire.
The 42-year-old was taken to hospital in a serious condition, but was released on Wednesday, and appeared to be largely unscathed, showing no visible injuries.
In 2009, around the time he was involved in a similar crash at the Talladega 500 in Florida, Newman had campaigned to NASCAR to improve the safety features in its cars to further protect drivers, according to Pop Culture.
Newman's 2009 crash can be seen below:
In 2012, the organization subsequently added a bar across the front window of the roll cage, which then became known as the "Newman bar," ESPN said in May 2013.
After the May 2013 crash, in which fellow driver Kurt Busch's car landed on top of Newman's, ESPN reported that he had "been involved in so many such accidents that NASCAR added what is referred to as the "Newman bar" to the window for extra protection."
"For the third time since 2009, his car went airborne and either landed on another or had another land on his," ESPN reported.
Newman said at the time: "My issue has and always has been, because I seem to be the reciprocate of whatever airborne disease that we have in NASCAR, is that either somebody lands on me or I land on somebody."
Auto industry blog Mac's Motor City Garage reported in 2013 on the new feature, sharing pictures taken by a staff member of NASCAR team Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (now Chip Ganassi Racing) of the improved safety features.
The blog described it as "two full tubes, generously spaced, across the leading edge of the cage in front of the driver's forehead."
Business Insider has not been able to confirm that the so-called "Newman bar" played a direct role in preventing Newman from being seriously injured, but NASCAR fans on Reddit discussed at length the role it may have played in protecting him.
"If so Ryan Newman was saved from an upgrade that is named after himself," one user speculated after looking at an image of the Newman bar.
NASCAR is again set to update the safety features in its cars next year by moving drivers further away from the doors to ensure they absorb less impact from crashes.
LaJoie, who sent Newman flying into the air on Monday, has praised the organization and its work to keep drivers safe.
"The fact that [Newman is] still with us and he can hopefully make a full recovery is just a testament to the NASCAR R&D group and how safe they're trying to make these race cars," he said.