Last Monday night after dinner even casual race fans were watching the Daytona 500. NASCAR has embraced the end of race formula featuring lots of messy wrecks. The cars are way safer than they used to be, but occasionally one of the wrecks get more than messy. When that happens the announcers tear up, the winner turns from ecstatic to muted and upset, everybody starts praying.
There was a very long, ominous wait before the nation finally got the news that Ryan Newman was alive, with non life-threatening injuries. That was a wreck with two major hits, the second into the roof as the car was airborne. It looked like a wreck that is gonna kill you at least half the time. And now, a few days later Ryan Newman walks out of the hospital with his daughters.
Note to tough-sounding baseball players threatening the Astros players. Or football players who think they’re all that. You’re out of your depth here. Racing side by side or three-wide at 200 MPH with the chance of permanent injury or death is another realm of toughness. Every time these guys strap it on might be their last. Incredible toughness and maybe a touch of insanity. You can tell once racers get that racing bug it never leaves them, and they can stare death in the face every race. That’s toughness. Ryan Newman will probably be back racing soon. That’s mind-boggling. And maybe a little crazy.