Corey LaJoie Discusses Crash That Injured Ryan Newman in Daytona 500

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2020

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 17: Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, and Corey LaJoie, driver of the #32 RagingBull.com Ford, crash during the last lap of the  NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

NASCAR driver Corey LaJoie said it took a couple of days for him to completely comprehend the crash that sent Ryan Newman to the hospital during the final lap of the 2020 Daytona 500 on Monday night.

LaJoie, who was involved in the wreck and took a few moments on the track to regain his breath, explained his view of the situation Thursday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (via Michelle R. Martinelli of USA Today):

"I really didn't have a grip on what happened until probably Wednesday afternoon. (That's) when it finally sunk in, and I was able to digest everything feelings-wise and just the whole situation because I've never really been in a situation like that. I've never really been in a big superspeedway crash to that point. So it's crazy how fast it happens, crazy how people don't realize how much it hurts when you hit something that hard or that fast."

Roush Fenway Racing posted a picture Wednesday of Newman walking out of the hospital alongside his two daughters just two days after the scary crash:

LaJoie said he's been in contact with the longtime Cup Series star, who's staying at the home of fellow NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr. in Florida while continuing his recovery, per Martinelli:

"We texted last night. We shared a couple laughs (about when) we went to that little slick track in Pocono called S&S (Speedways). And for whatever reason, Newman and I always found each other, and his big ass looked like Bowser in that little go-kart. We're sliding around and smashing into each other, and his head is so big he had to hold the roof up because his head was smashing into it. So we shared a laugh over (that)."

LaJoie also addressed his viralΒ InstagramΒ photo that showed him in a praying position on the track after the wreck, clearing up a couple of misconceptions about the picture.

"People assumed or speculated that I got out because I was in a praying position. I honestly was on my knees because I was in pain. The wind was knocked out of me," he said. "Granted, I said a thank you for protection prayer up to the big guy because I knew it was a nasty wreck, but at that point in time, I had no idea who I hit or the severity of it."

Roush FenwayΒ announcedΒ Ross Chastain will take control of the No. 6 car while Newman is sidelined. There's no timetable for his return to the track.

The NASCAR Cup Series' next stop is the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

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