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President Trump, Cup drivers offer prayers, support for Ryan Newman

NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 - Qualifying

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 09: Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, walks on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 09, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Concern about Ryan Newman’s condition flooded in Monday night from around the globe and the White House about the driver’s condition after his last-lap wreck in the Daytona 500.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter almost immediately after his No. 6 Ford hit the wall at 7:55 p.m. ET while battling for the lead with race winner Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney.

Newman was transported from Daytona International Speedway to nearby Halifax Medical Center, where he was in serious condition with injuries that were described by his team as not life threatening.

President Trump, who gave the command to start engines Sunday for the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 before the race was postponed a day after 20 laps because of rain, tweeted just after NASCAR provided its first update on Newman’s condition at 10:03 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of Newman’s hometown of South Bend, Indiana, also tweeted his prayers.

The official word on Newman’s injuries brought tweets of relief from several drivers, including Brad Keselowski, Matt DiBenedetto, Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch.

It was a change in tone from the immediate aftermath of the crash when many drivers tweeted their prayers and thoughts for Newman.

Among the first to express concern was Hamlin, who began his Fox interview in victory lane by mentioning Newman and later clarified he was unaware of the severity of his injuries during his initial burnout celebration.