Newman suffered head injury in Daytona 500 crash, no timetable for return to racing

Ryan Newman suffered a head injury in his horrific Daytona 500 crash.

Roush Fenway Racing said Sunday morning that there is no timetable for Newman’s return following the crash. While Newman had the head injury, he said in a statement read by the team that he suffered no other internal injuries in the crash.

“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones,” Newman said in his statement. “I did sustain a head injury for which I’m currently being treated. The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days.”

The comments were Newman’s first since the crash.

Ross Chastain is filling in for Newman on Sunday at Las Vegas and will be the replacement driver for as long as Newman is out of the car.

“I’m sorry that I can’t be at the track in person, but I asked [Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark] to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all the support that was shown last week to both me and my family,” Newman said. “The outpouring of emotion from not only the NASCAR community, but across the country has been truly humbling.

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Ryan Newman's crash at end of Daytona 500
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Ryan Newman's crash at end of Daytona 500
Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne after crashing into Corey LaJoie (32) during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday's running of the race was postponed by rain. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne after crashing into Corey LaJoie (32) during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday's running of the race was postponed by rain. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne after crashing into Corey LaJoie (32) during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday's running of the race was postponed by rain. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Ryan Newman slides down the track after he was involved in a crash on the final lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday's race was postponed because of rain. (AP Photo/David Graham)
Rescue workers arrive to check on Ryan Newman after he was involved in a wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/David Graham)
Rescue aid Ryan Newman after he was involved in a wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday's race was postponed because of rain. (AP Photo/David Graham)
Rescue workers remove Ryan Newman from his car after he was involved in a wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/David Graham)
Rescue workers arrive to check on Ryan Newman after he was involved in a wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday's race was postponed because of rain. (AP Photo/David Graham)
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“I want to personally thank everyone, including the man upstairs, for their support, encouragement and the numerous offers of assistance. We always say that the NASCAR community is one big family and never has that been more evident to me than after seeing this family rally together and provide the comfort and support that has been shown to my family and me over the past few days. The calls and visits from the NASCAR executives and my friends and competitors has been truly uplifting.”

Newman also thanked the staff at Halifax Medical Center, the hospital across from Daytona International Speedway where he was taken after he was extricated from the car. Newman was released from Halifax Medical Center on Wednesday.

Newman’s statement also acknowledged his Roush Fenway Racing team. He was leading the race off turn four before his car went into the wall and flipped over after contact from behind with Ryan Blaney.

“Most importantly, I have to thank the guys back at the Roush Fenway Racing shop that built me a car not only fast enough to lead the final seconds of the Daytona 500, but strong enough to do its job under great distress, allowing me to survive such an accident,” Newman said. “I am truly indebted to each of you and it is unlikely I will ever be able to properly express to you how much the diligent effort with which you conduct your craftmanship has affected me and my family. I hope you took pride in the photograph of me walking out of the hospital hand-in-hand with my daughters on Wednesday. Thank you. I can’t wait to get back in your race car.”

NASCAR held a news conference on Saturday that outlined its safety response in the seconds and minutes after Newman’s crash. NASCAR vice president Steve O’Donnell said there would be no changes to overtime procedures — Newman’s crash came on lap 209 of the 200-lap race — though he said the sanctioning body would “look at everything and anything” when it came to the speeds of the cars at Daytona and Talladega and their association with cars flipping over. Newman has long been an advocate for NASCAR to do anything and everything to keep cars on the ground.

“I think it's fair to say that it's still early in terms of as we look through this, but we're going to look at everything and anything in terms of the speeds,” O’Donnell said. “The lift‑off, you've heard me say many times before, we never want a car to get airborne so we'll look at how that occurred around the speeds.  We'll look at the racing procedures we have in place, as well.  All of those will be on the table as we look to head into Talladega, and if we need to make adjustments around the aero balance and speeds as it relates to safety, we'll do that.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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