Ryan Newman announcement shows he is far from retired

Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Ryan Newman left the world of motorsports with questions regarding his future after the end of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. With SRX releasing their driver lineup for 2022, it’s clear that he is far from done.

Ryan Newman found himself at a crossroads in his NASCAR career after the 2021 Cup Series season, without having a confirmed ride for the 2022 season.

Newman competed for Roush Fenway Racing from 2019 to 2021, driving the #6 Ford. Though he made the playoffs in 2019, he hadn’t seen victory lane since 2017, then driving for Richard Childress Racing at Phoenix Raceway, thanks to pit strategy and an overtime finish.

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Newman’s NASCAR career became a focal point at the start of the 2020 season, when he survived a horrific crash coming to the finish line of the 62nd Daytona 500.

After missing the next three races, the South Bend, Indiana native scored just six top 10 finishes over the course of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

The 44-year-old veteran appeared to have somewhat of a NASCAR send-off during the 2021 Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway, where he shared his uncertainty for the following year. With no plans to race in NASCAR during the 2022 season, Newman said that he would go back to “grassroots racing”.

His sponsor, Castrol, even debuted a silver paint scheme for the #6 Ford, which resembled the “retirement rides” that were run for Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson in 2015 and 2020, respectively.

But with SRX’s second season on the horizon, Newman has shown that he is far from retired.

Newman later confirmed that he had no plans to race in the Cup Series in 2022, telling SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he not only planned to race at “the grassroots level” but that his options are now “just for fun.”

But SRX recently announced that the 20-year stock car veteran will run the full 2022 schedule. With SRX showing promise in its rise as an oval track racing series outside of NASCAR, Newman finds himself in a position to compete alongside racing legends.

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With a diverse field of drivers and racing backgrounds and a short but competitive schedule, Newman gets to re-write his ending. While he may argue that there never was an ending to begin with, a chance for a send-off with a checkered flag is possible, and he now has a chance to show the racing world that he never truly retired.