Ryan Newman awake and talking after Daytona 500 crash

Ryan Newman's car flips in the air during a final-lap crash at the Daytona 500 on Monday.
(Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images)

After one of the most horrific crashes in NASCAR history, driver Ryan Newman was awake and talking with family and doctors at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Tuesday, his team said.

The accident came in the final lap of Monday’s rain-delayed Daytona 500. Newman and eventual winner Denny Hamlin were fighting for the lead when Ryan Blaney legally pushed Newman to the lead. However, the two Fords locked bumpers, sending Newman into the wall and airborne.

As the car was coming back down to the track, Corey LaJoie hit Newman on the driver’s side, causing the car to flip onto its roof. The car slid, throwing sparks and flames in its wake.

It took safety workers several minutes to free Newman from the car and he was taken to the hospital.

It was two hours before his team, Roush Fenway Racing, announced that Newman was in serious condition but his injuries were not life-threatening. The extent of the injuries is still unknown.

A tweet by Roush Fenway Racing on Tuesday that said Newman was awake and talking was the first update since Monday night.

That Newman’s injuries were not life-threatening is a testament to the safety measures NASCAR has taken since the death of legendary driver Dale Earnhardt in the 2001Daytona 500. There have been no deaths in NASCAR’s top series since then.