Ryan Newman Daytona return crash NASCAR

As Ryan Newman is preparing to return Daytona International Speedway for the first time since his horrific crash in the Daytona 500 back in February, he’s admitting that he’ll be feeling emotional when he gets there. People get PTSD from less, and so imagine how the racer must feel about facing the track that nearly took his life.

Ryan Newman Returns To Daytona

Newman was in the final lap of the season-opening race at Daytona, and was seemingly about to win it, when a push from Ryan Blaney’s car sent Newman’s No. 6 Ford Mustang flying into the wall, ending up upside down.

Fans immediately feared the worst as it took workers over fifteen minutes to extricate Newman from the vehicle, and he was immediately rushed to Halifax Medical Center.

Miraculously, the Roush Fenway driver was able to walk out of the hospital just 42 hours later, holding hands with his two daughters.

RELATED: Ryan Newman Will Make NASCAR Return With Zero Memory Of His Fiery Daytona Crash

Now, Ryan Newman is gearing up to take on Daytona for the first time since his fate defying crash.

I guess after February I’m pretty emotional every day,” Newman said of his Daytona return, which is set to happen Sunday at the inaugural Cup race, according to NBC Sports

“I’m just thankful for the opportunity to continue on. I get to hit the reset button in a roundabout way, not with my life, but the reality is just to continue to play on,” he added.

“I will probably be some sort of emotional going back to Daytona, but I don’t see it being a whole lot different than the kind of emotion I had getting in the car at Talladega or even going back to Darlington for that matter when I went and did my first test.”

Ryan Newman Isn’t Focusing On The Past

Though he was just seconds from winning the Daytona 500 and earning a playoff spot, Newman said that he can’t waste time thinking about what could have been. 

“No doubt I’ve thought about it, but the reality is it’s not the truth, it’s not what happened, it’s the what could have been and everybody has that in their season,” he said.

Emotions aside, Newman has his eye firmly on the prize. There are just four races remaining before the Cup playoffs begin, and Newman needs to win one of them to earn a spot.

“I feel like we made a huge stride for us and our organization and our team going from Saturday to Sunday in Michigan (last week), and I look forward to continuing that,” explained Newman.

Ryan Newman finished 28th on Saturday and 13th on Sunday at Michigan. So he’s looking for redemption.

“The reality is we want to lead one lap and that being the last one, so need to be realistic about it and keep the ball rolling, but you’re right we’re here to win, we’re here to win for ourselves, for me personally, for our sponsors, our team, crew chief Scott Graves … everybody involved, we want to win but we all want to see progression as we do that,” he added.

“It’s Been A Challenge”

“Leading a bunch of laps and finishing 35th isn’t going to cut it. … It’s been a struggle for us, as many other teams, just the lack of track time, the lack of laps and getting the car dialed in,” Newman concluded. “It’s been a challenge.” 

This really is the comeback story of a lifetime.

Here’s hoping that Ryan Newman is able to earn the playoff spot that he deserves this weekend at Daytona!

Read next: Ryan Newman’s Wife Krissie Shares Personal Video That Has NASCAR Fans Hoping The Pair Reconcile

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