Ryan Newman alert, ‘joking with staff’ as he recovers from crash in Daytona 500

Ryan Newman is showing “great improvement” after suffering serious injuries Monday night in the final lap of the Daytona 500, Roush Fenway Racing announced Wednesday.

He remains hospitalized in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“The veteran driver is fully alert and walking around Halifax Medical Center,” his team tweeted. “True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters.”

A photo of a smiling Newman, standing behind his daughters, accompanied the tweet.

Newman was leading the race when he was bumped from behind by Ryan Blaney, his car turning and slamming into the wall. Newman’s Ford flipped, was hit by Corey LaJoie’s Ford, flew in the air and landed on its top. The car caught fire and skidded across the finish line upside down.

Rescue crews put out the fire and cut off the roof of the car to extricate the 42-year-old driver.

Denny Hamlin won the race for the third time.

WATCH | Ryan Newman involved in terrifying crash at Daytona 500:

Ryan Newman was leading the race when he was involved in a crash that sent his car spinning before it caught on fire. 2:08


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