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Ryan Newman thanks fans for ‘their prayers’

Ryan Newman joined the TODAY Show in his first interview since his crash at the Daytona 500 to discuss his recovery, car safety and wanting to return to the track "as soon as I possibly can."

Ryan Newman thanked fans for their support as he continues to recover from a head injury suffered in a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500.

In a tweet Monday, Newman thanked fans for “their prayers. ... I’ve been blessed in so many ways.”

In an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show on March 11, Newman said he suffered a bruised brain and was knocked unconscious in the crash. He also said in that interview that he wants to return to racing “as soon as I possibly can.”

About his injuries, Newman said on the “Today” show: “It takes time for it to heal. I was knocked out. There was a point where I don’t remember a part of the race. Realistically, I feel so lucky. On so many levels, I feel so lucky. You look at the crash and you think that is spectacular in a bad way. You look at the car afterwards, you think about all the things that happened right for me to be sitting here.”

As for when he will return, Newman said: “I don’t know yet. We’re working on it. Soon as I possibly can.”

Newman led the Daytona 500 with 1 mile to go last month 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. 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.