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Ryan Newman

This article is about the NASCAR driver. For the actress, see Ryan Newman (actress).
Ryan Newman
File:Ryan Newman at the Daytona 500.JPG
Newman in 2015
Born (1977-12-08) December 8, 1977 (age 38)
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.
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Achievements 1999 United States Auto Club Silver Crown Series Champion
2008 Daytona 500 winner
2013 Brickyard 400 winner
2002 The Winston Winner
Awards 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Winston Cup Rookie of the Year
2003 Driver of the Year
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Statistics current as of May 24, 2015.

Ryan Newman (born December 8, 1977), nicknamed "Rocket Man", is an American stock car racing driver. A graduate of Purdue University, he currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driving the No. 31 Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing.

Racing career

Early career

Newman made his racing debut in 1993 in the United Midget Auto Racing Association and the All-American Midget Series, winning both Rookie of the Year and the championship. His 100 feature wins and two titles have him in the Quarter Midget Hall of Fame. Moving to USAC in 1995 running the C.E. Lewis No. 39 Drinan Chassis powered Brayton Motor, he was ROTY again in both the Midget Series and the Silver Crown in 1996. In 1999, he was the first driver to win in all three divisions while being the Silver Bullet Series champion in the No. 14 Beast Chassis powered Chevy.


Sprint Cup Series

Penske Racing

Newman began working for legendary racing icon Roger Penske in 2000, winning 3 of the five ARCA RE/MAX Series races he entered, and making his Winston Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway. In 2001, Newman continued in both ARCA and NASCAR, while attending Purdue. Newman ran 15 Busch Series races that season, winning poles in his 2nd and 3rd career starts and scoring his first career win at Michigan International Speedway in just his 9th career start. He also had a series-high 6 poles. Around this time he would meet racing legend Buddy Baker, who would eventually become his mentor on superspeedways.


In 2002, Newman won a season-high 6 poles, breaking the record set by Davey Allison.[citation needed] In September, he won his first career Winston Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after starting from the pole. Newman joined Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as the second rookie to win The Winston.

At Watkins Glen later that summer, Ryan Newman led 11 laps and finished second behind Tony Stewart. However the race ended in controversy as it was discovered that Stewart had restarted the race too early and jumped the restart.(28) Despite a protest by Penske, NASCAR upheld Stewart's win.(28)

Newman beat out Jimmie Johnson for the Rookie of the Year award on the strength of rookie records in top-fives (14) and top-tens (22), even though Johnson had more wins, finished higher in the points standings, and led the standings at one point.[1]


Newman's sophomore season began with 2 flips and 1 near flip at the 2003 Daytona 500 after contact with Ken Schrader and Bobby Labonte. At Watkins Glen, he spun and hit the foam blocks, sending him on his side. The near-flip was at the 2003 Aaron's 499 when he blew a tire mid-pack and nearly turned on his side in turn 1, sparking a 27 car crash, one of the largest recorded crash in Sprint Cup history. Though finishing the season with a series-high eight wins and eleven poles, Newman also suffered seven DNF's, which left him sixth in points. His number of poles during the season led to him being nicknamed "Rocket Man".[2]


In 2004, Newman qualified for the inaugural Chase for the Cup by finishing seventh in points with two wins and nine poles. He made the 2005 Chase as well, while returning to the Busch Series after a four-year absence, winning six out of the nine races he entered, including a series-record five straight.


Newman endured his first winless season in 2006, finishing a career-worst 18th in points, while his longtime crew chief, Matt Borland, left for Michael Waltrip Racing. His pole ratio between his rookie year and 2006 was one in every three races, tying him for fifteenth on the all-time poles list.[citation needed]


In 2007, despite a streak of three consecutive poles, Newman again failed to win a race, including a near win at Lowe's Motor Speedway that was spoiled by a blown tire.[3] His winless drought ended after he won the 2008 Daytona 500 on February 17, 2008. It was also the first Daytona 500 win for Penske.

Stewart-Haas Racing
File:Ryan newman 39 in pits.jpg
Newman pits his No. 39 Impala

On July 15, 2008, Newman announced that he was leaving Penske at the end of the season, and a month later, it was confirmed he was joining Haas CNC Racing in 2009, in the #39 Chevy Impala. The team was renamed Stewart-Haas Racing before the season.[4] The U.S. Army signed on for a three-year sponsorship deal, though only for 23 races of the 2009 season.[5]


Despite a slow start, Newman has given his career a boost since the move. Including a pole, five Top 5, and 12 Top 10, and an average finish of 14.0, his best since his 8 win season in 2003. On September 12 at Richmond, Newman finished 10th and clinched a spot in the Chase for the first time since 2005. On November 1, 2009, at the Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Newman was involved in a heavy crash on the back stretch in which he flipped over on top of Kevin Harvick entering Turn 3. He ended up on his roof and because the roof was crushed, crews had to use the Jaws of Life to pry the roof off the car after NASCAR officials flipped it back over. Newman was unharmed.


On April 10, 2010, Newman broke a 78-race winless streak with a win in the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway. He only led 4 laps during the race. The win was the first in NASCAR history for a car numbered 39.[6]

In 2010, he was chosen as "honorable mention" in a list of the smartest athletes in sports by Sporting News.[7]


Newman began his 2011 season by leading the most laps in the Daytona 500, but crashed twice late and finished 22nd. He got his first win of the season winning on a fuel mileage having enough to get the checkered flag at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire, giving him his 3rd career win at the track. Tony Stewart finished 2nd, giving Stewart/Haas Racings their first ever 1–2 finish. At the same track in September, Newman grabbed his 3rd pole of the season at the Sylvania 300. The 49th pole of his career put him in a tie for 10th all time on career poles with Bobby Isaac.


On April 1, 2012, at Martinsville Speedway, Newman survived a wild finish to get the 16th win of his career. The finish involved a controversial caution with 3 laps to go involving the No. 10 of David Reutimann which set up a green-white-checkered finish. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson dominated but on the restart, they crashed with Clint Bowyer and Newman came through unscathed en route to the win. The US Army announced on July 10, 2012 that it would not be returning to NASCAR for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season.[8] On October 2, 2012, Stewart-Hass announced that Quicken Loans would serve as the primary sponsor in 2013 for eighteen races and would also serve as an associate sponsor for Tony Stewart.[9]


Newman's 2013 campaign started with a 5th-place finish in the Daytona 500, but his momentum changed with two crashes at Phoenix the following week. He finished 38th at Las Vegas, but recovered with a 7th-place finish at Bristol. Newman collected two more Top 10 finishes in the next three races, but during that span he also had a controversial 31st-place finish in Martinsville. After a puncture, Newman appeared to stop deliberately and was penalized three laps. Two mediocre races at Kansas and Richmond followed, before the series went to Talladega. There, Newman was initially running well but finished 32nd when he and his teammate Danica Patrick were caught up in a spectacular late crash that saw Kurt Busch flip over and land on top of Newman.[10] Newman, however, recovered well to collect two consecutive Top 10 finishes at both Darlington and Charlotte, displaying a large performance difference between the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.

At Dover, Newman was running well until a pit road accident. There, he nearly tapped Jimmie Johnson after locking up his wheels when coming into pit road. He was penalized for a speeding violation resulting from the locked wheels and was one lap down after the penalty. Not long after the penalty, Newman was involved in an accident with David Gilliland, ending his race.[11]

The following week at Pocono, Newman led 19 laps and finished 5th, after running most of the race on an off-sequence pit stop strategy.

Newman strung together three unimpressive races at Michigan, Kentucky, and Sonoma, before finishing 10th at Daytona after a crash at the finish line. This made him, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. the only three drivers to sweep the Top 10 at Daytona in 2013 (with only Johnson sweeping the Top 5 by winning both).

At New Hampshire, Newman finished 39th in the Camping World RV Sales 301 after a crash with Kurt Busch, giving Newman his 5th DNF of 2013. On July 27, Newman won the pole for the Brickyard 400. The race was mainly a duel between Newman and Jimmie Johnson. On the final set of pit stops, Newman capitalized on a mistake by Johnson's pit crew and held on to the lead to win the race. It was Newman's first victory since the 2012 Goody's Fast Relief 500.[12] Newman was leading near the finish of the Richmond race when Clint Bowyer spun with seven laps to go. Newman pitted, and ended up falling behind Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch and Paul Menard on the restart. He got past Menard, but couldn't catch Busch or Edwards on the last three laps, and lost the tiebreaker for the runner-up Wildcard spot with Martin Truex, Jr.

On September 9, it was announced that Newman would replace Truex in the Chase after an investigation into Bowyer's spin proved that Bowyer had spun himself out intentionally to give Truex an opportunity to hold off Newman for the spot, under which Truex would have clinched a tiebreaker over Newman.[13]

Richard Childress Racing

On July 12, 2013 it was announced that Kevin Harvick would be joining SHR, driving the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, and that Newman would depart from the team at season's end, due to the team having no funding to run a fourth team at Stewart Haas.[14]

On September 9, it was announced that Newman would be moving to Richard Childress Racing for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, replacing Jeff Burton in the No. 31 Chevrolet.[15]


Newman's first highlight was at the The Profit on CNBC 500 Phoenix Spring race. During the Cup series event, Newman controlled the race with less than 50 laps to go battling Kyle Busch for the lead for several laps. An untimely caution came out with less than 40 laps to go. Having not pitted in over 60 laps, Newman and Busch were forced to pit during the caution. As a result, Newman and Busch lost their shot at the win.

At Michigan in August, Newman questioned a move that Jimmie Johnson pulled on him in the final 5 laps of the Pure Michigan 400. Jimmie and him exchanged heated words after the race. Newman refused to comment and when asked what Newman had to say, Johnson replied "Typical Ryan Newman stuff."[16]

Because of consistency throughout the season, Newman beat rookie Kyle Larson for the final wildcard spot in the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup.[17] Newman almost won at Talladega when he controlled the final 10 laps. However, a final GWC finish attempt relegated Newman to a 5th place finish. Although his car failed post-race inspection, NASCAR gave no penalties because of a mistake on inspection's part before the race.[18]

Newman was so consistent that after starting the Chase 11th in the standings he moved up each round and was 4th when they came to Phoenix for the next-to-last round of the Chase.

At Phoenix, Newman was in danger of missing the final round. On the final lap, Newman pulled a controversial move on Kyle Larson, forcing Larson to slap the wall. Newman with finishing 11th, bumped Jeff Gordon out of the Chase. Newman defended his move stating that while it was unintentional, he felt like he owed Larson one for a previous accident. Larson later himself agreed with Newman's situation but admitted to have been initially furious over the move.[19][20][21]

At Homestead, Newman almost won the Championship but because he finished second to Kevin Harvick in the race, he finished second to Harvick in the standings. When Newman was interviewed he stated that he wasn't going to play dirty and wanted to have a clean race with Harvick.


Newman announced in January that he renewed his RCR contract and would drive the #31 again for the 2015 NASCAR Cup series season. Though Newman did not win a pole in 2014 he was listed as being among the drivers allowed in the Sprint Unlimited because NASCAR allowed all Chase drivers to participate in the race.

Newman began his season with a string of top tens including a third place finish at Las Vegas. While running 6th in the stadings in late March, NASCAR confiscated various tires from Newman's team following the 2015 Auto Club 400 suspecting that Newman's team illegally tampered with the tires. Two weeks later NASCAR penalized Newman's team with a 75-point deduction, a $125,000 fine, a six-race suspension for crew chief Luke Lambert & 2 key crew members. RCR announced that they would appeal the penalties.

Nationwide Series

Newman made his Nationwide Series debut on February 24, 2001 at Rockingham) in the Alltel 200. He started second and finished ninth; it was his first of fifteen appearances in the 2001 season, where he finished with one win and eight top-10 finishes.

He joined Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s JR Motorsports for the 2009 campaign as the driver of the No. 5 Fastenal Chevy, signing on for four appearances for the year. In May 2010, Newman was hired to drive the No. 1 car for Phoenix Racing at Dover. In 2011, Newman drove the No. 30 Chevrolet for Turner Motorsports at Phoenix International Raceway.

Camping World Truck Series

Newman made his Truck Series debut on October 25, 2008 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, starting 10th in the 33 truck field driving Kevin Harvick's No. 2 Truck and passed his teammate Ron Hornaday with less than five laps to go to pick up his first truck series win in his first start making him the first driver to get their first Truck win at Atlanta and becoming the 4th driver to win in their first Truck race and joining the list of drivers who have won in all three of NASCAR's top series.

Newman made his Truck Series return on July 24, 2013 at the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway,[22] and finished third.[23]

Personal life

Newman was born December 8, 1977 in South Bend, Indiana.[24] Newman graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a B.S. in engineering.[25][26] He is married, to Krissie, and they have two daughters.

Newman's car was featured on the cover of the 2005 EA Sports computer game NASCAR SimRacing, and he was actively involved in its development.[citation needed]

He was on an episode of American Pickers, buying bumper cars for his children.


Newman and his wife, Krissie, operate the Ryan Newman Foundation, whose mission is to educate and encourage people to spay or neuter their pets and to adopt dogs and cats from animal shelters; to educate children and adults about the importance of conservation so the beauty of the great outdoors can be appreciated by future generations; and to provide college scholarship funding through the Rich Vogler Scholarship program, of which Newman himself was a recipient, to students interested in auto racing careers. The Newmans themselves have rescued and care for six dogs: Digger, Mopar, Harley, Socks, Dunkin and Fred.[citation needed] He helped fund the construction of the Catawba County, North Carolina Humane Society shelter, in the county where he once lived.[citation needed]


Newman is a car enthusiast and owns 14 cars. He enjoys driving and working on vintage cars, particularly 1950s Chryslers. His first car was a 74 Triumph TR-6. His favorite car is his 1948 Buick Roadmaster convertible he received from his wife as a birthday gift. His collection can be viewed on the History Channel show American Pickers (Episode: Art of the Deal). Newman also enjoys playing iRacing, a computer racing simulation game.

Awards and honors

On April 29, 2008, the St. Joseph County, Indiana, Board of Commissioners dedicated a half-mile stretch of newly rerouted Lincoln Way West (formerly U.S. Route 20) near the South Bend Regional Airport to Newman.[27]

Motorsports career results


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series

Daytona 500 results
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
2002 Penske Racing Ford 23 7
2003 Dodge 37 43
2004 20 31
2005 9 20
2006 18 3
2007 16 38
2008 7 1
2009 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 36 36
2010 17 34
2011 21 22
2012 18 21
2013 34 5
2014 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 19 22
2015 22 38

Nationwide Series

Camping World Truck Series

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

International Race of Champions

(key) (Bold – Pole position. * – Most laps led.)

See also

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  1. ^ Caraviello, David (2014-01-20). "TOP 10 ROOKIE CAMPAIGNS AT NASCAR'S HIGHEST LEVEL". NASCAR. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  2. ^ Baker, Sheena (August 20, 2009). "Refining The Rocketman". National Speed Sport News. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  3. ^ "Newman Wins Third Consecutive Pole". [dead link]
  4. ^ Long, Dustin (August 15, 2008). "Newman joins Stewart for '09; Now the work begins". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, VA. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  5. ^ Menzer, Joe (October 9, 2008). "Stewart-Haas confirms three-year deal with Army". Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Memorable Moments: Phoenix". NASCAR. 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  7. ^ "SN names the 20 smartest athletes in sports". Sporting News. September 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Army to discontinue NASCAR sponsorship in 2013". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  9. ^ Caraviello, david (October 2, 2012). "SHR adds sponsor building block on Newman's car". Turner Sports. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  10. ^ Albert, Zack. (May 10, 2013). "Ryan Newman remains frustrated over Talladega". Turner Sports. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  11. ^ Bromberg, Nick (June 2, 2013). "Craziest Moment: Ryan Newman spins David Gilliland and gets himself collected". From the Marbles. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  12. ^ Spencer, Reid (2013-07-28). "Indiana native Newman gets much-needed win". NASCAR. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  13. ^ Fryer, Jenna (2013-09-10). "AP Sources: Newman Replaces Truex in NASCAR Chase". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  14. ^ "NASCAR's Kevin Harvick taking sponsorship to Stewart-Haas". Sports Illustrated. July 12, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  15. ^ Pockrass, Bob (September 9, 2013). "Ryan Newman to replace Jeff Burton at Richard Childress Racing". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  16. ^ Owens, Jeff (August 22, 2014). "Jimmie Johnson to angry Ryan Newman: 'Bring it'". Sporting News. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Brad Keselowski wins at Richmond; Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle earn last Chase spots". Tampa Bay Times. September 7, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ Kraft, RJ (October 21, 2014). "Ryan Newman Happy to Avoid Penalty". NASCAR. NASCAR Media Group. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ Staff Report (November 10, 2014). "Larson: I Understand Newman's Situation". NASCAR. NASCAR Media Group. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ Pockrass, Bob (November 10, 2014). "Kyle Larson OK with Ryan Newman move". Sporting News. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  21. ^ Boarman, John (November 10, 2014). "Kyle Larson comments on Ryan Newman’s last lap pass at Phoenix". Tireball. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  22. ^ Caraviello, David (2013-07-22). "Track conditions may decide who wins Eldora". NASCAR. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  23. ^ "2013 Inaugural Mudsummer Classic". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  24. ^ "Biography". Ryan Newman official website. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  25. ^ "Educated Racer". Impact Magazine (Purdue University College of Engineering). Winter 2013. 
  26. ^ "A Breed Apart". [dead link]
  27. ^ Sulok, Nancy J (2008-04-30). "Honor for NASCAR's Newman to stretch half-mile". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 


External links

Preceded by
Jeff Gordon
The Winston Winner
Succeeded by
Jimmie Johnson
Preceded by
Kevin Harvick
Daytona 500 Winner
Succeeded by
Matt Kenseth
Preceded by
Jimmie Johnson
Brickyard 400 winner
Succeeded by
Jeff Gordon
Preceded by
Kevin Harvick
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Jamie McMurray


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