LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A paramedic was treating Ryan Newman inside his car 35 seconds after the ruined and flaming vehicle came to rest after a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.
NASCAR gave a brief timeline Saturday of the response to Monday night's airborne accident that was so startling many drivers feared him dead. Newman hit the wall and his car went airborne, was hit by another car to send it airborne a second time, rolled upside down and landed on its roof in flames.
“You’ve heard us say this many times, that safety is our primary responsibility,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer.
“Everything that goes on at the R&D Center on a daily basis is put in place for a reason. This is our job. This is what we do, and you’ve got the 40 drivers in the garage area who expect us to do this every day.”
NASCAR said the first fire responder arrived 19 seconds after Newman's car stopped. A trauma doctor was at the car 33 seconds later and a paramedic entered 2 seconds after that.
Newman was then treated for more than three minutes, NASCAR said. It took roughly two minutes to overturn the car, during which time Newman was still being assisted and the treatment continued as the roof was cut away. The 42-year-old driver was removed from the car 15 minutes, 40 seconds after it halted.
NASCAR revealed its findings from a review that began Tuesday when the cars of Newman and Corey LaJoie, the driver who hit Newman's car on the driver's side, arrived at the North Carolina Research and Development Center.
NASCAR said it could not discuss Newman's health, citing federal privacy laws.