“My options are to race for fun now”: Ryan Newman speaks about not competing in NASCAR this year and his plans for the future
|Published January 15, 2022
Former Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman will not be a part of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series starting next month.
Newman has been an ever-present name in NASCAR for the last 21 years, competing in 725 races. His last win came at the Camping World 500, back in 2017 for Richard Childress Racing. From 2019-2021, he was with Roush Fenway Racing and finished 28th in the Standings last year.
Now 44, the ‘Rocket Man’ wants to move away from the spotlight and ‘race for fun’. He made it clear that he does not want to compete in a car that’s not capable of challenging for the title. As a result, Newman will spend time in ‘short tracks Grassroot racing’ in 2022.
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Newman took part in this week’s Chili Bowl Nationals for midget sprint cars. The likes of Kyle Larson, Chase Elliot and Christopher Bell also competed in this event. Speaking to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the 44-year old admitted that he has no NASCAR ride for 2022.
“Definitely interested in continuing to race,” he said. “That’s why there was no retirement party. There were no retirement plans. There was no ‘Ryan’s last ride’ or anything like that because that wasn’t the intention.”
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Ryan Newman is looking forward to what the future has in store for him
After last year’s season finale in Phoenix, Newman revealed that he was unsure about his future in the sport. In particular, he wasn’t looking forward to driving the Next-Gen cars, whose introduction has been subject to widespread debate.
In spite of not being a full-time racing driver for the first time in over 20 years, the Indiana native is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
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“I feel like I’ve been so blessed in so many ways — my daughters, my racing career, having dreams come true,” he concluded.
Ryan Newman has a total of 18 wins, 117 top 5s, 268 top 10s and 51 pole positions in his long and illustrious career. He was presented with the Rookie of the Year award in 2002 over the legendary Jimmie Johnson.
Newman can also boast about winning two ‘crown-jewel’ races in the name of Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.
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