NASCAR clears Newman to return to racing
NASCAR clears Newman to return to racing

NASCAR has cleared Ryan Newman to return to competition following his horror Daytona 500 accident in February which left him with a head injury.

Newman has been sidelined since a vicious airborne accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500, where he sustained a closed head injury and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Florida – with his condition at the time marked as serious.

Despite the severity of the crash, he spent just two days at Halifax Medical Center before leaving the hospital with his two daughters.

Ross Chastain stepped behind the wheel of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang for three races before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

No races are currently planned until at least mid-May, though that delay is likely to continue after a stay-at-home order was issued in North Carolina last week, meaning the majority of Cup Series teams based in Charlotte cannot re-open their premises’.

Newman told FOX Sports during its Sunday broadcast of the Pro Invitational Esports series event that he planned to return as soon as the season got back underway.

NASCAR clears Newman to return to racing
NASCAR clears Newman to return to racing

“I’m healthy. I’ve been blessed with this situation giving me more time to heal,” he said at the time.

Larson added: “I’m so excited and thankful to be healthy and at some point get back in the race car when the world starts turning again.

“I’m thankful for all the people and support that I’ve got – friends, family, you name it that have prayed for me and given me this multitude of miracles that has given me this opportunity to get back in the seat.”

NASCAR was quick to release its own statement, commenting that – at that point – he had yet to have been assessed and given the all-clear to return.

His return will coincide with the return of another veteran driver, as 2003 Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth steps out of retirement to drive the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro.

Kenseth’s return is the result of the indefinite suspension by NASCAR of Kyle Larson and his expulsion from Ganassi Racing following an incident during a live stream in which he was caught using a racial slur.

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