Will Ryan Newman Return To Stewart-Haas Racing In 2014?

By Les Bailey

Now that Kevin Harvick’s departure from Richard Childress Racing has become public knowledge, what is the game plan for Ryan Newman? Is this Newman’s last go-around with Stewart Haas Racing, or does Tony Stewart have the resources to field a fourth race team to accommodate Harvick’s arrival? I think The Rocket Man will be looking for a new ride in 2104.

Since his banner year in 2003, Ryan Newman has pretty much under-achieved. He won the 2002 Winston Cup Rookie of the year award, and on the strength of his eight trips to victory lane in 2003, He won Driver of the Year. Since then, he has only eight more victories on his resume, giving him a career 16 wins on the Cup circuit. Ryan has never won a Cup title, and finished in 14th position for the 2012 campaign.

Newman had one win in 2012, that coming at the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 in Martinsville on April Fools Day. He had six finishes in the top 5, and 14 in the top 10, and like Kyle Busch, needed another win to be considered for a chase position. He made the chase in 2011, and finished in 10th place. He did not make the chase in 2010, finishing in 15th position, and well out of the picture.

I was surprised that after he moved to Stewart-Haas for the 2009 season, the move to Hendrick powered Chevrolets would provide the  lift that Ryan needed to resurrect his career, but it didn’t help much. He had no wins in 2009, and only one win each year since. The US Army, who had been his primary sponsor for the past seasons, announced in July they would not be continuing their sponsorship for the 2013 season. Quicken Loans has signed up for 13 races on the #39 Chevrolet in the 2013 season, but I’m not sure how SHR will fund the car for the remainder of the season.

Ryan Newman has never really made a serious run at a Sprint Cup Championship. His best points finish was 6th, that coming three times in 2002, 2003, and 2005. He qualifies his car well, and has 49 poles in his career, but unfortunately poles don’t win races, or championships.

I think Ryan Newman will be looking for a new ride by the end of  the year unless he can get his car into victory lane a few more times in 2013, and become significant in the Chase. Maybe the move to the Gen 6 car will help, but I don’t think so. Ryan Newman will be the odd man out at SHR in 2014.

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