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“Guy Had More Lives Than a Cat”: Horrific Crash Image of NASCAR Star From Daytona Gives Fans the Chills Even After 19 Years

Published 12/31/2022, 8:13 AM EST

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Throughout the course of its history, NASCAR has seen some violent crashes. Some of them were fatal, while others had survivors lucky enough to walk away. One such horrific crash happened back in 2003 at the iconic Daytona 500. The crash was so violent none would have thought that the then 25-year-old, Ryan Newman, would see the light of day. However, despite the oddities at hand, Newman survived.

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The 2003 season was a sophomore year for Newman. Coming off at the famed Daytona International Speedway, Newman came into contact with the car of Ken Schrader. Soon both drivers found themselves slamming into the outside wall hard. Right after the impact, Newman’s car veered onto the infield grass. The car then went airborne and then flipped over several times before coming to a rest on its roof. During the crash, the entire rear axle separated from the car and fell apart.

The heavily crumpled car now sat on the infield with Newman still inside the wreck. Soon the safety crew reached the vehicle and pulled him out. This was not the last time Daytona 500 would prove to be a bad sign for Newman. In fact, years later in 2020, he was back at Daytona and was involved in yet another horrific wreck.


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This time around he was leading the race when Denny Hamlin pushed Ryan Blaney who in turn bumped into Newman. Right after Newman hit the outside wall, he was smashed by the oncoming traffic that sent him flying. Newman ended up finishing the race upside down in a shower of sparks and flames in fourth place.

NASCAR fans react to Ryan Newman’s 2003 crash

Decades since Newman’s first Daytona 500 wreck, a Twitter post with a picture of his wreck turned up. Fans were soon seen passing their thoughts of that horrific day.

via Getty

Some fans pulled a leg and compared Newman to a cat that has many lives—a reference to his miraculous escapes in the violent crash. Others took a look at his stats for the 2003 season and suggested that he was so good he could have even won the championship.


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Watch This Story: Fans React as NASCAR Continues “Blowing Smoke Up Everyones A*ses” With Next Gen Crash Test: “You Still Have a Gallon of S**t”

A number of spectators witnessed Newman’s 2003 crash in person. Imagine being a fan returning to the Daytona 500 after 17 years and finding Newman upside down once again. Well, that seems to be the life of Ryan Newman at Daytona. There is something about him and flying at this track. Luckily he was able to survive both crashes and live on to tell the story of how it all happened.



Srijan Mandal

1061 articles

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Journalism and has been writing for his own blog as well, covering NASCAR, F1, F2, W Series, MotoGP, DTM, IndyCar, WRC, and WEC. Following motorsports for more than a decade, he has become a devout supporter of McLaren Racing, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Bubba Wallace, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and Ayrton Senna.

Edited By: Nischal Kandpal