Days after his bumper tap in the final lap at the Daytona 500 set off a fiery crash that hospitalized Ryan Newman, driver Ryan Blaney has found inspiration in his fellow Ford racer.
“I don’t think you will ever see someone as tough as Ryan Newman,” Blaney wrote in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday. “To see him walk out of that hospital with his girls brought a tear to my eye. I was lucky enough to speak with him last night briefly about what happened Monday, it was just good to hear his voice, to be honest.
“His Ryan Newman humor was at large and brought a smile to my face.”
In an attempt to nudge Newman to victory on Monday, Blaney’s bumper “hooked up wrong and I turned him.” Newman’s car crashed into a side wall, where it was hit by Corey LaJoie, sending the vehicle rolling through the air and ultimately sliding across the track in flames.
NASCAR personnel immediately began tending to Newman, ultimately freeing him from the car and sending him to the hospital. He was released on Wednesday.
“The recovery he has made the past few days have been remarkable,” Blaney wrote. “I look forward to seeing him soon to talk about it more. We are all competitors racing for wins every weekend, but at the same time are one big family, and you never want to see family get hurt. Have been replaying the events in my head over and over about what I could’ve done differently ever since.
“I’m very lucky to have have a great family, friends, team and incredible fans that have helped me out this week. I can’t thank everyone enough for that.”
Despite the horrific crash, everyone involved is well on the road to recovery. Blaney said he believes he’ll do more than just talk to Newman soon enough.
“I can’t wait to have Rocketman Ryan Newman back at the track racing as hard as ever,” he wrote.