With Kevin Harvick officially coming to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, what does this mean for Ryan Newman? Does Tony Stewart have the resources to field four cars for an entire season. Is Ryan Newman the odd man out? I think unless Newman puts that No.39 car in victory lane a couple times, or at least contends for the championship from a fan’s standpoint, I don’t see Newman staying with this team. He will either be looking for a ride, or he will just stop racing.
Retirement does seem a bit early for Ryan Newman and maybe I’m a bit crazy, but you have to admit that this economy has left many drivers out looking for work. In this economy, it is harder to find a ride. If Newman were to leave Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of this upcoming season, it could mean retirement or it could mean racing for a lower-funded team than he is usually accommodated to. He won’t be racing for a Roger Penske or a Tony Stewart, but more like a James Finch or a Tommy Baldwin. He is in a really delicate situation. I’m pulling for him to get some wins this year, but it will be a difficult task with the competition the way it is now.
Some call 2003 a breakout year for Newman. It absolutely was a breakout year in terms of wins, but he ended up finishing 6th in the final points because of the amount of DNF’s that No.12 Alltel team had. Newman has only won eight races since then and the highest amount of wins he has had per season has been just two.
Newman did have one win last season at Martinsville, but that was caused by a wreck entering turn-1 that took Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, and Jimmie Johnson all out of contention for what should have been Rick Hendrick’s 200th NASCAR victory.
He has never really made a serious run for the title and I honestly doubt that the Gen-6 car will see much of an improvement. When the COT was not in full swing yet, Newman still missed the Chase in 2006, and 2007. It’s going to be tough to find a new ride if this season is yet another mediocre one. If he doesn’t shine this season, we might not see Ryan Newman at all on the Sprint Cup circuit in 2014.
What do you all think?