After the terrifying 2020 Daytona 500 crash that was easily the biggest scare NASCAR has had with a driver in many years, there were a lot of questions about Ryan Newman’s future. After a wreck to that magnitude with a driver in his 40’s and seemingly in his twilight years, it was a shock whenever he returned in 2021.
Just as shocking, with the news that Brad Keselowski will more than likely replace him at Roush Fenway Racing, Newman is determined to continue his career. He seems to still be enjoying racing despite him not being a legitimate championship contender. Of any driver without realistic championship aspirations, he seems to always have the mentality that he could make the playoffs and give it a good shot.
Newman annoys fans whenever he gets near their favorite driver and makes life significantly harder on them, but overall, he is an entertaining personality. A lunch pale guy who shows up and drives his car to the best of his ability, and that’s something the sport misses sorely.
Recently, Trackhouse Racing Team has made it known that they are looking at adding a second team to their lineup. This team will more than likely be a non-chartered team, which means in the event more than 40 cars show up to any given race, they will have to make it in on qualifying. Both Trackhouse and 23XI have been linked to veteran Kurt Busch, and I believe that it is for the fact that they may need good qualifying runs.
These teams racing without charters see the value in bringing in a veteran who has experience at all these tracks and already knows how to wheel a car as fast as they can around them. Bringing in a rookie would put them at a disadvantage if they had to rely on qualifying to make it into the field. This is where Newman comes in for Trackhouse.
The chances of them prying Busch away from 23XI Racing are slim. There is just too much potential over there for him to turn it down, but Newman is a solid choice for a veteran driver to help pilot a non-chartered car. He was at one point known for his excellent qualifying times, and I think could be a veteran presence on this growing team.
Not only that, I think he can be decently competitive. This season he has been made solid runs and while he needs a miracle win to make the playoffs, he’s showing he has more in the tank than originally thought. Pairing him with Trackhouse, which has also been surprisingly competitive this season could lead to an uptick for both parties.
Ryan Newman is also arguably the best mentor for Daniel Suarez to have. Both came up through the sport with a lot of hype, but never truly lived up to it and have essentially become journeymen. Newman and Suarez share a hardheaded style of racing that pisses people off but also gets the job done. There is a lot Newman can teach, while also being in probably the most competitive ride he could hope to get at this stage in his career. Arguably, it might be a better ride than his current one at RFR.