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Ryan Newman showing 'great improvement' following Daytona 500 crash

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wellesenterprises/iStock(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is continuing to improve after he was seriously injured during a fiery crash in the Daytona 500.

Newman’s racing team, Roush Fenway, posted a photo Wednesday of him smiling in the hospital with his two daughters.

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He is showing “great improvement” following the crash on Monday and is “fully alert and walking around” the hospital, according to a statement from Roush Fenway.

Newman has also been in good spirits as he recovers, his team said.

“True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters,” the statement read.

Newman was leading the race when he skidded out, slammed into a wall and flipped over. He was then struck by at least one car from behind, which caused his car to fly into the air, slide on its roof and catch fire while still upside down.

Denny Hamlin, who won the race for a second year in a row, spoke Wednesday about the safety measures NASCAR has implemented in the last decade.

“Before competition, you got to have a car that’s safe. You gotta have all your equipment that’s safe,” he told reporters during a news conference. “The sport’s been very fortunate to not have anything freak or weird happen for many, many years, but a lot of that is because of the development and the constant strives to make things better and safer.”

Hamlin continued, “I thank my lucky stars every day that I came in the sport when I did.”

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