- A safety feature nicknamed after the NASCAR driver Ryan Newman may have helped save his life at the Daytona 500 on Monday.
- Newman collided with Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie on the final lap of the race, causing his car to flip in the air, land on its roof, and catch on fire.
- According to a Pop Culture report, Newman campaigned years ago for NASCAR to improve its safety features, prompting the organisation to add a bar across the front of its cars’ roll cages.
- The feature became known as the “Newman bar,” according to a 2013 ESPN report.
- Newman was released from the hospital on Wednesday. LaJoie has said the 42-year-old’s quick recovery is a “testament to the NASCAR R&D group.”
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A safety feature nicknamed after the NASCAR driver Ryan Newman may have helped save his life in his devastating Daytona 500 crash on Monday.
Newman crashed into Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie in the final lap of the race in Florida, causing his car to flip in the air, land on its roof, and catch on fire.
The 42-year-old was taken to the hospital in serious condition but was released on Wednesday and appeared largely unscathed, with no visible injuries.
In 2009, after he was involved in a crash in Talladega, Newman campaigned for NASCAR to improve its cars’ safety features to further protect drivers, according to a Pop Culture report.
Here’s Newman’s 2009 crash:
The organisation later added a bar across the front of the roll cage that became known as the “Newman bar,” ESPN reported in May 2013, after a crash in which Kurt Busch’s car landed on top of Newman’s.
“For the third time since 2009, his car went airborne and either landed on another or had another land on his,” ESPN said of Newman. “He has been involved in so many such accidents that NASCAR added what is referred to as the ‘Newman bar’ to the window for extra protection.”
Newman told ESPN at the time that his issue “has and always has been, because I seem to be the reciprocate of whatever airborne disease that we have in NASCAR, is that either somebody lands on me or I land on somebody.”
— Dolan???????? (@spicygoober) February 19, 2020
The auto-industry blog Mac’s Motor City Garage reported on the new feature in 2012, sharing pictures from a staff member of the NASCAR team Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (now Chip Ganassi Racing).
The blog described it as “two full tubes, generously spaced, across the leading edge of the cage in front of the driver’s forehead.”
It’s unclear whether the so-called Newman bar played a direct role in preventing Newman from being seriously injured, but NASCAR fans on Reddit have discussed the possibility at length.
If the bar did play a role, Newman would have been “saved from an upgrade that is named after himself,” one user wrote.
NASCAR is set to update the safety features in its cars next year by moving drivers farther from the doors so they absorb less of the impact of a crash.
LaJoie has praised the organisation and its work to keep drivers safe, telling “Good Morning America” on Tuesday in an interview about Newman’s crash that “the fact that he’s still with us and he can hopefully make a full recovery is just a testament to the NASCAR R&D group and how safe they’re trying to make these race cars.”
- Read more:
- Ryan Newman’s terrifying Daytona 500 crash is being compared to the one that killed Dale Earnhardt, and some say the safety rules it spurred may have saved Newman’s life
- The driver who collided with Ryan Newman in the horrific Daytona 500 crash found out on camera that Newman had been taken to the hospital
- Photos show how Ryan Newman’s devastating, fiery 190 mph crash at the Daytona 500 unfolded
- NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is in serious condition after his car spun out, hit a wall, and flipped into the air at the Daytona 500
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