NASCAR confirmed Monday that Ryan Newman has been medically cleared to race.
The announcement comes a day after Newman stated that he planned to return to racing when the NASCAR season resumes, which could be as soon as the May 16-17 weekend at Darlington Raceway.
“I’m excited to be healthy and at some point to get back in the race car when the world starts turning again and thankful for the people and support that I’ve gotten, friends and family and fans, you name it, that have prayed for me and given me this multitude of miracles that has given me this opportunity to get back in the seat at some point,” Newman said on Fox before last weekend’s Pro Invitational Series race at a virtual Talladega Superspeedway.
Newman suffered a brain bruise in a last-lap crash of the Feb. 16 Daytona 500. He missed three races before the season was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.
Newman led the Daytona 500 with 1 mile to go after being pushed to the front by Ryan Blaney. After exiting Turn 4, Newman blocked Blaney, who then tried to push Newman to the win to ensure a Ford victory. But one of the shoves from Blaney’s car unsettled Newman’s car and it turned into the wall.
Newman’s car went airborne and spun upside down. Corey LaJoie couldn’t avoid Newman’s car and hit it on the driver’s side while it was upside down. Newman’s car landed on its roof and slid down the frontstretch, coming to rest beyond the exit of pit road.
NASCAR later stated that Newman was extracted from the car 15 minutes, 40 seconds after the car came to rest. Newman was hospitalized for about 42 hours after his crash
Newman returned to the track for the first time in March to be with this team. He told reporters there in a brief interview: “It’s great to be alive. If you looked at my car, it’s a miracle.”
Ross Chastain drove Newman’s No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing in the three races he missed after the Daytona crash.