Ryan Newman speaks on “Today” show, says he’s “very lucky” following Daytona 500 crash

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2020, file photo, Ryan Newman stands on pit road after his run during NASCAR auto racing qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Ryan Newman is fully alert, walking around the hospital and joking with staff two days after his frightening crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Roush Fenway Racing said Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, the 42-year-old driver “continues to show great improvement.” (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)

NASCAR driver and South Bend native Ryan Newman says he’s very lucky to still be alive after his horrifying crash in last month’s Daytona 500. In his first public interview since the crash, Newman told NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday that the only injury he has is a bruised brain.

While leading on the final lap of the race, Newman was spun out. He crashed into the wall and flipped into the air. He was then hit — in the driver door — by another car traveling 190 miles per hour, and then flipped again before landing upside down.

He credits the advanced technology in NASCAR that saved his life.