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NASCAR driver Ryan Newman ‘awake’ after fiery Daytona 500 crash

Ryan Newman ‘awake and speaking’ following Daytona 500 crash
WATCH: Ryan Newman "awake and speaking" following Daytona 500 crash.

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman was rushed to hospital in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries following a fiery crash at the Daytona 500.

The all-star driver was leading the final lap of the race when his car went airborne, hit the wall, flipped and burst into flames on Monday.

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He was removed from the car and taken to a local Florida hospital.

Newman’s team, Roush Fenway Racing, announced on Tuesday afternoon that he was “awake and speaking with family and doctors.”

NASCAR initially took to Twitter around two hours after the crash to share a brief statement about the 42-year-old’s health status at the time.

“Ryan Newman is being treated at Halifax Medical Center. He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life-threatening,” NASCAR said.

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“We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and ask that you respect the privacy of Ryan and his family during this time. We appreciate your patience and cooperation and we will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Footage of the jaw-dropping crash shows driver Ryan Blaney’s bumper catching the back of Newman’s car, which sent his Ford race car careening into the side wall.

Driver Denny Hamlin won his second straight Daytona 500. After his win, he took a moment to wish Newman a speedy recovery.

“I think we take for granted sometimes how safe the cars are,” Hamlin told the Associated Press. “But number one, we are praying for Ryan.

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“It’s a weird balance of excitement and happiness for yourself, but someone’s health and their family is bigger than any win in any sport,” he said. “We are just hoping for the best.”

The first crash on Monday involved 19 cars, Business Insider says, and included driver Jimmie Johnson, who was racing in his last Daytona 500. He’s a seven-time champ in the NASCAR cup series and has won this race twice.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he was “praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCAR driver!” He followed that up by retweeting video footage of the crash.

It’s been almost two decades since NASCAR saw its last fatality, when Dale Earnhardt was killed on his last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca