A wild ending to Monday's 62nd running of the Daytona 500 featured a scary accident near the finish line that left Ryan Newman in serious condition. As Denny Hamlin celebrated his win in NASCAR's marquee season-opening race, Newman was quickly transported to Halifax Medical Center.
On Wednesday, Newman was released from the hospital. Roush Fenway Racing posted a photo of the driver walking out of Halifax Medical Center accompanied by both of his daughters.
Earlier in the day, the team released an update on Newman's health.
"Ryan Newman continues to show great improvement after Monday night's last-lap accident at Daytona International Speedway," the statement said. "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."
Initial reporters after the crash were that Newman was in "serious condition" and that the injuries he sustained were not life threatening.
In the final stretch of the race, Newman was leading the pack until he was bumped from behind by Ryan Blaney. The contact sent Newman crashing into the wall before another driver collided with the driver's side of the Newman's vehicle, sending Newman's No. 6 airborne before it came crashing to a halt upside-down on the side of the track.
The car briefly caught on fire before it was extinguished by track personnel. Newman needed to be extracted from the vehicle before being loaded into an ambulance and transported to a nearby hospital. According to WFTV, black screens were put up around the crash site to keep fans from seeing Newman get pulled out of the car and put on a stretcher.
Newman, 42, is a 19-year NASCAR veteran who currently runs the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. He won the 2008 Daytona 500.
"The finish, the history, that's all great. One day it will all sink in. But right now all I'm thinking about is Ryan Newman," Hamlin told ESPN after winning the race.
Many other current and former drivers offered support and well wishes for Newman following the crash:
Big prayers for Newman— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 18, 2020
Dang I hope Newman is ok. That is worst case scenerio and I had nowhere to go but smoke.— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie) February 18, 2020