NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman (6) wrecks during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Just two days after NASCAR fans feared the worst following the horrific crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500, driver Ryan Newman was walking around the hospital and smiling with his kids on Wednesday.

In an update released by Roush Fenway Racing, the team announced that Newman is showing great improvement and is alert and interacting with his family at Halifax Medical Center.

It’s another incredible piece of news following a crash that saw Newman’s car flip into the air, get hit at full speed on the driver’s side then catch fire. The entire NASCAR community held its collective breath as emergency crews pulled Newman from the car and transported him to the hospital.

NASCAR received plenty of criticism for its immediate handling of the crash regarding the broadcast and Denny Hamlin’s celebration after winning the Daytona 500. However, credit must also go to NASCAR for making the necessary innovations with safety measures in the car that likely saved Newman’s life.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.


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1959
Lee Petty
1960
Junior Johnson
1961
Marvin Panch
1962
Fireball Roberts
1963
Tiny Lund
1964
Richard Petty
1965
Fred Lorenzen
1966
Richard Petty
1967
Mario Andretti
1968
Cale Yarborough
1969
LeeRoy Yarborough
1970
Pete Hamilton
1971
Richard Petty
1972
A.J. Foyt
1973
Richard Petty
1974
Richard Petty
1975
Benny Parsons
1976
David Pearson
1977
Cale Yarborough
1978
Bobby Allison
1979
Richard Petty
1980
Buddy Baker
1981
Richard Petty
1982
Bobby Allison
1983
Cale Yarborough
1984
Cale Yarborough
1985
Bill Elliott
1986
Geoffrey Bodine
1987
Bill Elliott
1988
Bobby Allison
1989
Darrell Waltrip
1990
Derrike Cope
1991
Ernie Irvan
1992
Davey Allison
1993
Dale Jarrett
1994
Sterling Marlin
1995
Sterling Marlin
1996
Dale Jarrett
1997
Jeff Gordon
1998
Dale Earnhardt
1999
Jeff Gordon
2000
Dale Jarrett
2001
Michael Waltrip
2002
Ward Burton
2003
Michael Waltrip
2004
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2005
Jeff Gordon
2006
Jimmie Johnson
2007
Kevin Harvick
2008
Ryan Newman
2009
Matt Kenseth
2010
Jamie McMurray
2011
Trevor Bayne
2012
Matt Kenseth
2013
Jimmie Johnson
2014
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2015
Joey Logano
2016
Denny Hamlin
2017
Kurt Busch
2018
Austin Dillon
2019
Denny Hamlin
2020
Denny Hamlin

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