Feb 19, 2020 7:56 PM

Ryan Newman released from hospital after Daytona 500 crash

Posted Feb 19, 2020 7:56 PM

DAYTONA BEACH (AP) — NASCAR driver Ryan Newman has been treated and released from Halifax Medical Center after his horrific crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Roush Fenway Racing released an update on its driver Tuesday, about 20 hours after Newman's car slammed into the wall at nearly 200 mph, flipped, got T-boned by another car, flipped several more times and skidded to a halt in flames.

Everyone watching feared the worst Monday night and had to wait nearly two hours to learn that Newman's injuries were not considered life-threatening. The latest update was more good news for the 42-year driver and 2008 Daytona 500 champion.

Newman turned hard into the wall after getting bumped from behind by Ryan Blaney a few hundred feet from the finish line. Newman’s No. 6 Ford then flipped onto its roof, where he was helpless as he was walloped in the driver’s side by another car at 190 mph.

Newman's car continued to skid upside down along the speedway and crossed the finish line in flames as safety crews hurried to snuff out the fire and cut Newman loose. It took about 8 minutes for workers to roll his car rightside-up, and medical personnel used black screens to block spectator views as Newman was placed in a waiting ambulance and taken to Halifax Medical Center.

A sense of relief spread across Daytona International Speedway. There has not been a fatality in NASCAR's elite Cup Series since Dale Earnhardt died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

Nineteen years later, it’s clear that Earnhardt’s death probably saved Newman’s life. NASCAR spent the last two decades working to improve safety regulations by installing energy-absorbing walls around tracks, mandating the use of head-and-neck restraints attached to helmets and continuing to make improvements to the cars.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Newman is fully alert, walking around the hospital and joking with staff two days after his frightening crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Roush Fenway Racing said Wednesday the 42-year-old driver “continues to show great improvement.” The team added that “true to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while playing with his two daughters.”

The team included a photo of Newman standing in a hospital gown, smiling with his arms around his two young daughters.

Newman was injured Monday night when he crashed while leading NASCAR's biggest race. Contact from Ryan Blaney sent Newman spinning into the wall and his Ford went airborne, where it was then hit by Corey LaJoie in the driver side door.

The car landed on its roof, slid across Daytona International Speedway and came to a rest upside down and on fire, with gasoline pouring out of the vehicle. It took a safety team nearly 20 minutes to remove Newman from the car and he was taken to a Daytona Beach hospital.

No details regarding what injuries Newman has have been released. The team also has not announced who will drive the No. 6 Ford at Las Vegas this weekend.

Meanwhile, both Blaney and LaJoie have stepped back from racing to process their roles in the accident. LaJoie climbed from his own burning car and dropped to his knees on the track, learning only after he was checked at the care center that Newman was injured.

Blaney seemed distraught as he paced beside his car following his second-place finish to Denny Hamlin.

Bubba Wallace, one of Blaney's best friends, said he spent time with Blaney on Tuesday and advised him to stay off social media for a few days.

“He's holding up, of course devastated and bummed about the situation,” Wallace posted on Twitter. “Had to sit there and explain to him could've happened to him or any of us in the field. IT'S RACING. Just unfortunate to be on either end of it.”

Wallace also praised Blaney's atttempt to push Newman to the win in a move of brand alliance for Ford. It was when Blaney tried to lock onto Newman's bumper to give him a shove that the cars didn't align properly and Newman was hooked into a spin.

“I know Ford should be proud to have him under their banner because he was so content on pushing his Ford teammate to win the biggest race of the year,” Wallace continued. “Which makes it worse (because) a simple selfless gesture went south in the blink of an eye.”

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Feb 19, 2020 7:56 PM
KHP found 18 pounds of cocaine hidden during traffic stop
Jesus Gonzalez-Molina

TOPEKA, KAN. – A man was sentenced this week to 52 months in federal prison for smuggling 18 pounds of cocaine to Kansas, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Jesus Gonzalez-Molina, 30, Pomona, CA., pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. In his plea, he admitted he was driving eastbound on I-70 through Shawnee County when he was stopped by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Troopers searched the 2007 Toyota 4Runner he was driving and found a hidden compartment containing the drugs.