LAS VEGAS — This we know: Ryan Newman might very well be the toughest man in NASCAR.
The Purdue graduate with an engineering degree has, for 18 seasons, railed against the dangers of superspeedway racing. He’d been airborne in his car too many times for his comfort, and his scathing criticism of NASCAR’s approach to racing at Daytona and Talladega got him fined for his bluntness.
Now he has a head injury from yet another airborne accident, this one on the last lap of the Daytona 500, and his streak of 649 consecutive races ended Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He could have been killed; in a statement, he intimated he understands it should have been a fatal accident.
But he survived, walked out of the hospital with his daughters less than 48 hours after the crash and