Newman family still pumped after Daytona 500 win

In the hours following her son's Daytona 500 win, Diane Newman fielded hundreds of phone calls at her home in South Bend.

Diane, wishing she went to Daytona to witness Ryan's huge win in person, was glued to the television watching her son celebrate the biggest victory of his life.

"It's unbelievable. I just can't believe it," Diane explains. "It's just awesome."

Diane also spent part of Sunday night looking back at all the pictures and memorabilia of Ryan's career.

"It's just really hard to believe," she continued. "That is a big race and it is a tough one. I'm not real fond of the super speedways but maybe now I will be."

There's a reason mom isn't a big fan of Daytona. It's the place where Ryan had a nasty wreck back in 2003.

Ryan had his number 12 car flip a half-dozen times before walking away ok.

Despite the incident, Daytona was a race Newman always dreamed of winning.

"The 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500, it's an awesome feeling," Ryan said Monday morning.

"The fans are still sticking around. I'd like to be home right now, but the fans are still here---so it shows how special this really is."

Newman went two and a half years without winning a race.

But the losing streak ended at 81.

The LaSalle High School grad passed fellow Hoosier native Tony Stewart on the final lap thanks to help from teammate Kurt Busch to win The Great American Race.

"I'm awe struck," Newman said minutes after the race.

Through all the celebrations on victory lane, Newman found the time to make a special phone call to his mom.

"I just cried," Diane said two hours after the race. "I could hardly talk to him."

"He was just laughing at me because he likes to tease and everything. It was just great hearing his voice and to talk to him and congratulate him."

"He said, 'call me later when you are not full of tears,'" Diane said laughing.

It's the first ever Daytona 500 win for Newman and 13th Sprint Cup win overall.

Kurt Busch finished 2nd, Tony Stewart 3rd and Kyle Busch 4th.

Kurt Busch literally helped push Newman to victory and in the process ensured Stewart could not regain the lead from his teammate.

"The way it all played out, I have to thank Kurt Busch the most," Newman said. "He did an awesome job being a teammate."

"He could have made it three wide, but he chose to push me and that's honorable and something I'll never forget."

The win is also the first at Daytona for Team Penske.

"This is a team trophy," Newman said. "We've had our ups and downs and have struggled. It's nice to get back and win it at Daytona and the 500 nonetheless."

"It's an awesome feeling and it will take a while to set in. I guarantee you."

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