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Auto shop reflects on Ryan Newman's local roots as he recovers from fiery crash

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- South Bend native, Ryan Newman, is recovering after a fiery crash at the Daytona 500 in Florida.

Newman was driving the final lap of the race when his race car crashed.

Newman’s long racing legacy started in Michiana. Greg Newman, Ryan’s father, used to own an auto shop called “G & G Auto Services” in Niles.

The pair spent a lot of time working on race cars in the shop and even today with a new owner, the walls are decked out with memorabilia to showcase where his career all began.

“So it’s pretty amazing that you know, a young kid like this starts out in these, you know, little bitty cars and next thing you know he’s racing legendary Jeff Gordon…you know, pretty, pretty impressive,” Jeremy Clanton said, the owner of G & G Auto Services.

The young child described by Clanton is now 42-year-old Nascar legend, Ryan Newman, but his roots tie back to Michiana.

“There’s a lot of steps along the way for him to get to that point,” Clanton said.

One of those steps is G & G Auto Services.

“Ryan grew up right here, was basically here all the time,” Clanton said. “They were working on his race cars as he started in smaller cars like midgets and things like that.”

The shop might look a little different today, but G & G Auto Services is where Ryan and his father worked on race cars—from the midgets to the higher-power cars.

Newman has gone on to make his mark in the racing world and is currently in his 19th full season in the NASCAR Cup series and the auto shop has all the memorabilia to show it, including tires from one of his old race cars.

“I think they were focused on what they wanted to do and they got it done,” Clanton said.

Newman is now recovering after a fiery crash that caused his car to spin and flip several times as he was leading the final lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 race.

Newman’s team surrounded his race car moments after the crash as medics extracted Newman from the driver’s seat.

“Ryan's a heck of a tough guy and so we're gonna hope he comes out of this good,” Denny Hamlin said, the winner of the 2020 Daytona 500 race.

Newman sure left his mark in Michiana and Clanton said it is encouraging to see a local go on and succeed, leading with a great legacy.

“It’s very exciting,” Clanton said. “I mean, you know, to see that he’s actually followed his dream and made it work.”

Newman’s team, Roush Fenway Racing, issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:

“Ryan Newman remains under the care of doctors at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is awake and speaking with family and doctors.

Ryan and his family have expressed their appreciation for the concern and heartfelt messages from across the country. They are grateful for the unwavering support of the NASCAR community and beyond.

We will continue to provide information as it becomes available.”

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