It was one of the scariest moments in NASCAR since 2001.
I can still remember watching the end of the 2020 Daytona 500 and my heart beating as I waited to see if Ryan Newman was going to be ok after his brutal last-lap crash.
Newman’s #6 car had gotten sideways coming out of the final turn, and as he was flipping out of control, Corey LaJoie had nowhere to go and hit head-on into the driver’s side of Newman’s car.
His car came to rest just past the end of pit road, and rescue workers worked furiously to remove Newman from the wreckage as viewers watched in shock and waited for word that he was ok.
But as the minutes dragged on, that word never came, and a fear spread over NASCAR that hadn’t been felt since the same race in 2001, when NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt was killed on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
Eventually though, it was revealed that though he had suffered serious injuries, Newman’s condition was not considered to be life-threatening – which was nothing short of a miracle given the fact that he had just been hit directly in the driver compartment by a car going nearly 200 mph.
And even more miraculous was the recovery that he made: Just two days after the horrific crash, Newman was released from the hospital, holding hands with his young daughters as he walked out under his own power.
Ryan Newman has been released from the hospital just two days after his crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500 🙏
Newman would return after missing only three races (after several races were postponed due to the start of the COVID pandemic) and would ultimately race for one more season before hanging it up as a full time driver.
And last year, Newman showed off the damage to his seat to prove just what a walking miracle he really is.
On SRX broadcast, Ryan Newman shows the dent in his seat where LaJoie’s car hit him in the 2020 Daytona 500. He notes his head was right there. pic.twitter.com/IhgE10YBnt
Well as if that wasn’t enough proof that God really does exist (sorry Megan Rapinoe) and that he was looking out for Newman that day, now we’re also getting a look at the helmet Newman was wearing during the crash – and it makes his recovery seem all the more miraculous.
During an episode of Hunt Club TV, Newman showed the damage that the helmet suffered, including a dent on the left side where it was hit by LaJoie’s car, and a crack in the helmet from the force that it took during the crash.
Newman said he’s never showed the helmet to anyone on camera before, and I’m sure it brings back painful memories to look at it again (though Newman has said in the past that he doesn’t remember the crash or the events directly after it).
But it absolutely proves that Newman is lucky to be here with us today – and the miracle that took place when he survived that horrific crash.