Newman suffered a head injury during the season’s opening race at Daytona International Speedway on February 17. The Indiana native spent less than 48 hours in hospital before going out holding hands with his two daughters.
Ross Chastain drove the # 6 Ford in place of Newman for three races before the NASCAR season suspension on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking before the NASCAR iRacing event on Sunday, Newman said on Fox Sports that he would be ready to race when NASCAR called the drivers back to the track.
“This is the absolute plan for sure. I am in good health, ”said Newman. “I have been blessed with another layer of this [coronavirus] situation giving me more time to heal, and I can’t wait to be back in the seat, that’s for sure. ”
Newman had a spectacular accident while trying to take the lead on the last lap of the Daytona 500. His car in flight was struck by another car; his Ford has driven several times and stopped on its roof. It took several minutes to get him out of the car and transfer him to a Florida hospital, where his condition was considered serious but not fatal.
NASCAR said in a statement that Newman had not yet been authorized by the series to return.
“We share Ryan’s enthusiasm for his return to the track,” the statement said. “We’re looking forward to Ryan’s return to racing as soon as he is allowed to participate in the race. “
Newman took advantage of his brief appearance on Fox Sports to thank again the outpouring of support he received during his recovery.
“I am so excited and grateful both for being healthy and for getting back into a racing car at some point when the world starts to spin again,” said Newman. “And grateful for all the people and support I have from family, fans, you call him who prayed for me, you call him, you have given me this multitude of miracles. “
NASCAR hopes to resume its season without spectators by May 17. The situation remains fluid as the sanctioning body establishes a new calendar and finds the states that will host the series, and the teams return to their racing workshops.