Ryan Newman has been medically cleared to return to NASCAR competition, the sanctioning body announced Monday.
Newman has been sidelined since suffering serious injuries in a frightening crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. His No. 6 Ford Mustang was leading off the fourth turn with the finish line in sight when contact with Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney sent Newman’s car sharply into the outside wall, turning over onto its roof before being slammed in the roof by Corey LaJoie. Newman’s car turned over once again and eventually came to rest upside down at pit road exit.
Newman suffered a bruised brain in the wreck which knocked him unconscious. Newman was treated for his injuries at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., and was released after two days. Ross Chastain was named as Newman’s substitute at Roush Fenway Racing and drove the No. 6 car for the three races following Daytona at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.
NASCAR has since put all competition on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately for Newman, the pause in racing action has given him much needed recovery time.
“I’m excited and thankful, all at the same time.” Newman told FOX Sports on Sunday. “I’m healthy, I’ve been blessed with another layer of this situation giving me more time to heal and look forward to being back in the seat, for sure.”
The 42-year-old Indiana native looks to resume his second season driving the No. 6 Ford Mustang at Roush Fenway Racing. In 2019, he recorded three top-fives and 14 top-10 finishes, recording a season-best finish of second at Talladega Superspeedway in October while placing 15th in the 2019 playoff standings.
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