NASCAR: Ryan Newman Says First Memory After Daytona 500 Crash Last Year Was Taking Call from the President

by Matthew Wilson

NASCAR Ryan Newman was in one of the worst crashes in decades last year. Newman opened up about experience at last year’s Daytona 500 race. Or his lack thereof.

The crash caused a severe gap in Newman’s memory after the crash. In total, he lost about three days worth of his memory afterward. His last memory before the crash was at his parents’ house. Newman was having shrimp for lunch that day, shortly before race time.

His next true memory is a phone conversation with President Donald Trump, according to Yahoo Sports. Newman talked with the president on the phone while he was at the hospital. But that memory stands on his own, sort of like a dream. The phone call exists separate in its own space, and Newman can’t remember what happened before or after the conversation.

In fact, his next true memory is right before he left Halifax Medical Center. The driver remembers holding his daughters’ hands as they prepared to walk outside. He also remembers his father sitting beside him in the hospital.

“I just remember my dad telling me and showing me what happened,” Newman said. “and it took me asking him to believe … why I was laying in a hospital bed.”

Ryan Newman and the Daytona 500 Crash

Newman’s crash was considered one of the worse in decades. It has eerie similarities to the crash that killed driver Dale Earnhardt. The crash happened on the final lap of the race when Newman led the pack to try to take home the finish. He was beating out fellow driver Denny Hamlin for the top spot.

But as Hamlin dropped behind Newman, he decided to help out teammate Ryan Blaney. The driver tried to push Blaney’s car forward using the momentum of his own car. They figured the extra power could push Blaney ahead of Newman and secure the victory in the race.

But Blaney’s car began to wobble as a result. The driver attempted to push Newman as a result, but the impact caused Newman’s car to whip right. The driver crashed into the barrier before going airborne and flipping upside down. Another driver Corey Lajoie then smashed into Newman’s car, sending it flying once again. The crash could have been deadly for Newman. But he doesn’t hold any hard feelings toward Blaney.

“I do remember putting my arm around him and talking to him in Phoenix after I got a chance to see him face-to-face. … I can only imagine what it was like not knowing that night,” Newman said.

Newman is thankful to be alive and to be driving once again.