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Ryan Newman says he suffered a head injury, seeks to race again

Ryan Newman said in a statement that he is being treated for a head injury that he suffered in his last-lap crash in the Daytona 500 but that he’s “looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win.”

Newman’s statement was read by Steve Newmark, Roush Fenway Racing president.

In Newman’s statement, he said he suffered no internal injuries and no broken bones in the crash and that “the doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days.”

There is no timetable for Newman’s return, Newmark said.

“He has unequivocally expressed this is where he wants to be,” Newmark said of Newman.

Newmark later said in the press conference at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that Newman’s “objective is to get back in the car as quick as he can.”

Ross Chastain is scheduled to drive the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing while Newman is out.

“Right now we’re just taking it one race at a time,” Newmark said of how long Chastain will drive the car. “The arrangement with Ross is if we need him, he should be available.”

Newman will have to be cleared by his doctors and by NASCAR before he can race. Newman has been in conversation with this weekend with crew chief Scott Graves and Chastain, Newmark said.

Martin Truex Jr. said Saturday that he’s confident Newman will be back sooner than later.

“I’ve been talking to him throughout the week,” Truex said. “He’s doing real good. I feel like he’ll be back before anybody thinks he could. He’s a tough son of a gun. He’s in good spirits and hanging out with his family, so he’s doing well.”

MORE: NASCAR won’t change overtime rules after Ryan Newman crash 

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Newman, 42, was injured after a chaotic last lap in the Daytona 500. He passed Denny Hamlin for the lead on the backstretch, getting a push from Ryan Blaney.

Exiting Turn 4, Blaney went low to challenge for the lead. Newman dropped down the track to block. Blaney then hit Newman to push him to the victory, later saying he knew he couldn’t win at that point and wanted to ensure that a Ford won.

The contact turned Newman’s car to the right. He slammed the outside wall and turned upside down. Corey LaJoie’s car slammed into Newman’s car on the driver side. Newman’s car crossed the finish line sliding on its roof with sparks flying. The No. 6 Ford car came to rest just beyond the exit of pit road. Safety crews needed 15 minutes to extricate him and he was taken immediately to Halifax Medical Center. 

Newman was released from the hospital Wednesday, less then 42 hours after being injured in the Daytona 500.

STATEMENT FROM RYAN NEWMAN

“I’m sorry that I can’t be at the track in person, but I asked Steve (Newmark) to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all the support that was shown last week to both me and my family. The outpouring of emotion from not only the NASCAR community, but across the country has been truly humbling.

“I want to personally thank everyone, including the man upstairs, for their support, encouragement and the numerous offers of assistance. We always say that the NASCAR community is one big family and never has that been more evident to me than after seeing this family rally together and provide the comfort and support that has been shown to my family and me over the past few days.  The calls and visits from the NASCAR executives and my friends and competitors has been truly uplifting.

“I want to thank everyone involved in my care, especially the staff at Halifax Medical Center, where I am convinced I received the best care available. I’m confident the efforts of each of those trained professionals played a major role in where I’m sitting today. And to the entire NASCAR organization, led by Jim France, thanks for being by my side the entire time.  You truly stepped up to support me unconditionally when it mattered most.

“Most importantly, I have to thank the guys back at the Roush Fenway Racing shop that built me a car not only fast enough to lead the final seconds of the Daytona 500, but strong enough to do its job under great distress, allowing me to survive such an accident. I am truly indebted to each of you and it is unlikely I will ever be able to properly express to you how much the diligent effort with which you conduct your craftmanship has affected me and my family. I hope you took pride in the photograph of me walking out of the hospital hand-in-hand with my daughters on Wednesday. Thank you. I can’t wait to get back in your race car.

“I was fortunate to avoid any internal organ damage or broken bones. I did sustain a head injury for which I’m currently being treated. The doctors have been pleased with my progression over the last few days.

“Again, I want to thank each of you, from my partners, teammates and competitors and each and every fan across the country. Thank you everyone for the unparalleled concern and unwavering support. And to the media, who has acted with such respect and class during this time.

“I have spoken with Jack Roush and he has assured me that the number six car will be waiting and ready for my return. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel and battling for another race win in the Roush Fenway Ford.”

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