LAS VEGAS – Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark revealed in a statement Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that Ryan Newman suffered a head injury during the violent crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.
Newmark read a statement from Newman, who was not present Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Newman confirmed that he didn’t suffer any additional injuries besides the the head injury, which he continues to be treated for.
“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 am currently being treated. The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days.”
In his statement, Newman would also thank the NASCAR community for the support following the incident as well as those involved in his care at the race track and at Halifax Medical Center, where he was treated following the crash. He left the hospital on Wednesday.
Lastly, Newman said he plans to be back in the No. 6 car as soon as doctors clear him to return.
“I’ve spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the No. 6 car will be waiting and ready for my return,” Newman said. “I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Ford.”
Details on exactly what type of head injury Newman suffered in the crash were not revealed in the statement or by Newmark. Newmark also confirmed there is currently no timetable for Newman’s return to the No. 6 Ford Mustang at Roush Fenway Racing.
“We don’t have a timetable for Ryan’s return,” Newmark confirmed. “I can tell you what his timetable would like to be, which is as soon as possible, but there are some other hoops he has to jump through before that happens.”
Following the reading of Newman’s statement, Newmark answered questions from the media and confirmed that Ross Chastain, who is driving in place of Newman this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, has been made available to the team until Newman is able to return.
“When we were at the hospital that evening there was actually no discussion (about who would drive the No. 6) at that point because that wasn’t the focus,” Newmark said. “You were 100 percent trying to support the family and all of us were concerned about Ryan at that point.
“Once we had learned his status through his dad from the doctors, there was a group of us, Jack Roush, Kevin Kidd, Tommy Wheeler, Scott Graves, myself and Mark Rushbrook from Ford, had a conversation about what was the right direction to go. The first call that Kevin Kidd and I made was to Ross Chastain the next morning, along with with Jim (Campbell of Chevrolet) and Chip (Ganassi).
“At this point I would say it’s open ended,” Newmark said of Chastain’s roll in the No. 6. “Right now we’re just taking it one race at a time. Right now our arrangement with Ross is that if we need him, he should be available.”
Despite being injured and unable to compete, Newman has remained involved with the race team, albeit from a distance.
“He was on the phone Scott Graves, his crew chief, calling him because I think he was watching practice. I believe he has talked to Ross,” Newmark said. “So he has been very active in trying to be involved in the direction of the team.”
For now Chastain is expected to remain in the No. 6 Ford Mustang, but Newmark noted that Newman is determined to return and reclaim his seat as quickly as possible.
“I know his objective is to get back as quickly as he can to get in the car,” Newmark said.
Below is Ryan Newman’s full statement that was read by Newmark Sunday afternoon:
“I’m sorry that I can’t be at the track in person, but I asked Steve 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. The outpouring of emotion from not only the NASCAR community, but across the country has been truly humbling.
“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.
“I want to thank everyone involved in my care, especially the staff at Halifax Medical Center, where I am convinced I received the best care available. I’m confident the efforts of each of those trained professionals played a major role in where I’m sitting today. And to the entire NASCAR organization, led by Jim France, thanks for being by my side the entire time. You truly stepped up to support me unconditionally when it mattered most.
“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. 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 craftsmanship 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.
“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones. 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.
“Again, I want to thank each of you, from my partners, teammates and competitors and each and every fan across the country. Thank you everyone for the unparalleled concern and unwavering support. And to the media, who has acted with such respect and class during this time.
“I have spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the number six car will be waiting and ready for my return. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Ford.”