CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With the announcement of Brad Keselowski moving to Roush-Fenway Racing for the 2022 season onward, the future is now uncertain for South Bend, Indiana-native Ryan Newman.
Newman, a graduate of Purdue University, has been with Roush-Fenway as the driver of the #6-car since 2019. Keselowski will be taking over the driving duties for the #6-car next season. Newman has not won a race in four years with his last win coming in 2017 at Phoenix when he was racing for Richard Childress Racing.
Roush-Fenway president Steve Newmark said on Tuesday that the team is open to having Newman on board on a part-time basis.
“So I’ve talked to Ryan regularly, as recently as yesterday, and we’ve talked to him about whether he’d be interested in a part-time role with us, what he wants to do next year,” Newmark said, “I think it’s fair to say that he’s still trying to make that decision on what’s his best path and what his best direction is.”
Newmark said he’s not aware of any timeline for Newman to make a decision on his future.
Newman has been a journeyman driver in the NASCAR Cup Series over the last two decades, having won 18 career races with Team Penske, Stewart-Haas, and Richard Childress Racing.
Roush-Fenway is the only team he’s raced within his career where he has not won a race.
He came close to winning in 2020 in the Daytona 500. On the final lap of that race, he wrecked coming to the checkered flag and flipped several times resulting in a trip to the hospital and subsequently missing a few races. The coronavirus pandemic pause in the season that year allowed him ample time to recover and not miss too many races that season.
Keselowski comes on board at Roush with a new contract and an ownership stake in the racing team. The two-car lineup from Roush next season will feature Keselowski and Chris Buescher as their two full-time drivers. As for Newman, Newmark said discussions are in limbo about whether or not to expand to a third car for Newman or have him on a part-time basis.
“I will say unequivocally that I have a ton of respect for Ryan and his professionalism and what he’s brought to our team,” Newmark said. “We didn’t achieve our collective goals and there were a lot of factors that kind of intervened in that, but it’s just fair to say that we really respect Ryan and appreciate the relationship with him and want to help him do whatever he wants to do next. He deserves that.”
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