On Thursday, Corey LaJoie — who crashed into opponent Ryan Newman at Monday night’s Daytona 500 and sent Newman to the hospital — opened up about the fallout of the accident, as well as his relief in being able to joke with his fellow athlete after the fact.
LaJoie, 28, told SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio that he recently texted Newman, 42, and they laughed about a memory involving the two of them on a previous go-cart outing.
“We shared a couple laughs [about the time] we went to that little slick track in Pocono called S&S [Speedways],” he said, according to CBS Sports. “For whatever reason, Newman and I always found each other, and his big a— looked like Bowser in that little go-kart. We’re sliding around and smashing into each other, and his head is so big he had to hold the roof up because his head was smashing into it.”
LaJoie added, “So we shared a laugh over [that]. I said, ‘Man, it was almost like we were back at that slick track in Pocono, but unfortunately, we were going 200 miles an hour instead of 7.’ And he thought that was funny.”
LaJoie said it was “a blessing to be able to share a laugh with Ryan not even almost 48 hours after everybody assumed the worst.”
Hey Ryan, you forgot your shoes. https://t.co/cyQ8VMfAMS— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie) February 19, 2020
Newman was released from a hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Wednesday just two days after he was involved in the racing wreck on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
“Ryan Newman has been treated and released from Halifax Medical Center,” Ryan’s racing team, Roush Fenway Racing, wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the driver and his two daughters holding hands as they walked out of the hospital.
LaJoie had fun with the sweet picture, sharing it on Twitter, writing, “Hey Ryan, you forgot your shoes,” pointing out the recovering racer’s bare feet in the snapshot.
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Here is the final lap of the Daytona 500 in which Ryan Newman's car was flipped at the line.— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 18, 2020
We will continue to keep you updated on his status as we learn more. pic.twitter.com/qkEwQBpoP0
Earlier this week, LaJoie posted on Instagram about his point of view in the collision, as well as his thought process in the moments immediately following the crash.
“A lot of speculation as to what was going through my little noggin here. Here’s the facts,” he wrote. “The wind was knocked out of me so I was catching my breath, I was wiggling my fingers and toes to make sure they were still connected, I was confused as my brain tried to process what my body just went through and I was hurting from the sub straps containing the force of the frontal impact.”
LaJoie continued: “While I was down there I did send up a ‘thank you Jesus for your hand of protection’ prayer and at that moment I had no idea who I hit or the severity of it.”