Ryan Joseph Newman (born December 8, 1977) is a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He drives the #39 Tornados/Haas Automation
Chevrolet Impala for Stewart Haas Racing under crew chief Tony Gibson. Newman graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a B.S. in
vehicle structure engineering.[2], and is the only active NASCAR driver to have a college degree. In 2002, he was the Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
He enjoys driving and working on vintage cars, particularly 1950s Chryslers. Newman's car was featured on the cover of the 2005 EA Sports
computer game NASCAR SimRacing, and he was actively involved in its development.
Early days
Newman made his racing debut in 1993 in the United Midget Auto Racing Association and the All-American Midget Series, winning both Rookie
of the Year and the championship. His 100 feature wins and two titles have him in the Quarter Midget Hall of Fame. Moving to USAC in 1995
running the C.E. Lewis #39 Drinan Chassis powered Brayton Motor, he was ROTY again in both the Midget Series and the Silver Crown in 1996.
In 1999, he was the first driver to win in all three divisions while being the Silver Bullet Series champion in the #14 Beast Chassis powered Chevy.
Beginnings with Penske
Newman began working for legendary racing icon Roger Penske in 2000, winning 3 of the five ARCA RE/MAX Series races he entered, and
making his Winston Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway. In 2001, Newman continued in both ARCA and NASCAR, while attending
Purdue. Newman ran 15 Busch Series races that season, winning poles in his 2nd and 3rd career starts and scoring his first career win at Michigan
International Speedway in just his 9th career start. He also had a series-high 6 poles. Around this time he would meet racing legend Buddy Baker,
who would eventually become his mentor on superspeedways.
"Rocket Man"
In 2002, Newman won a season-high 6 poles, breaking the record set by Davey Allison.[citation needed] In September, he won his first career
Winston Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after starting from the pole. Newman also became the second rookie since Dale Earnhardt
Jr. to win the The Winston, and beat out Jimmie Johnson for the Rookie of the Year award on the strength of rookie records in top-fives (14) and
top-tens (22).
Newman's 2008 Daytona 500 car, on display at the Daytona 500 ExperienceNewman's sophomore season began with a flip at the 2003 Daytona 500
after contact with Ken Schrader. Though finishing the season with a series-high eight wins and eleven poles, he also suffered seven DNF's, which
left him sixth in points. His number of poles during the season led to him being nicknamed "Rocket Man."
In 2004, Newman qualified for the inaugural Chase for the Cup by finishing seventh in points with two wins and nine poles. He made the 2005
Chase as well, while returning to the Busch Series after a four-year absence, winning six out of the nine races he entered, including a series-record
five straight.
Newman endured his first winless season in 2006, finishing a career-worst 18th in points, while his longtime crew chief, Matt Borland, left for
Michael Waltrip Racing. His pole ratio between his rookie year and 2006 was one in every three races, tying him for fifteenth on the all-time poles
list.
In 2007, despite a streak of three consecutive poles, Newman again failed to win a race, including a near win at Lowe's Motor Speedway that was
spoiled by a blown tire.[3][dead link] His winless drought ended after he won the 2008 Daytona 500 on February 17, 2008. It was also the first
Daytona 500 win for Penske.
Move to Stewart-Haas
Newman pits his #39 ImpalaOn July 15, 2008, Newman announced that he was leaving Penske at the end of the season, and a month later, it was
confirmed he was joining newly-formed Stewart Haas Racing in 2009, in the number 39[4] (his number during his midget-driving years) Chevy
Impala. U.S. Army signed on for a three-year sponsorship deal, though only for 23 races of the 2009 season.[5]. Despite a slow start, Newman has
given his career a boost since the move. Including a pole, 5 top fives, and 12 top tens, and an average finish of 14.0, his best since his 8 win season
in 2003. On September 12 at Richmond, Newman finished 10th and clinched a spot in the Chase for the first time since 2005. On November 1st,
2009, at the Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Newman was involved in a heavy crash on the back stretch in which he flipped over on
top of Kevin Harvick entering Turn 3. He ended up on his roof, and because the roof was crushed, crews had to use the Jaws of Life to pry the
roof off the car after NASCAR officials flipped it back over. Newman was unharmed. On April 10, 2010, Newman broke a 78 race winless streak
with a win in the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway. He only led 4 laps during the race.
Nationwide Series
Ryan Newman made his Nationwide Series debut on February 12, 2001 at Rockingham) in the Alltel 200. He started second and finished ninth; it
was his first of fifteen appearances in the 2001 season, where he finished with one win and eight top-10 finishes. He regularly averages five series
races per season.
He joined Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s JR Motorsports for the 2009 campaign as the driver of the #5 Fastenal Chevy, signing on for four appearances for
the year.
Craftsman Truck Series
Newman made his Truck Series debut on October 25, 2008 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, starting 10th in the 33 truck field driving Kevin Harvick's
#2 Truck and passed his teammate Ron Hornaday with less than five laps to go to pick up his first truck series win in his first start making him
the first driver to get their first Truck win at Atlanta and becoming the 4th driver to win in their first Truck race and joining the list of drivers
who have won in all three of NASCAR's top series. He was also one of four drivers who picked up a truck win on their first start.
Charity
Newman and his wife, Krissie, operate the Ryan Newman Foundation, whose mission is to educate and encourage people to spay or neuter their
pets and to adopt dogs and cats from animal shelters; to educate children and adults about the importance of conservation so the beauty of the
great outdoors can be appreciated by future generations; and to provide college scholarship funding through the Rich Vogler Scholarship
program, of which Newman himself was a recipient, to students interested in auto racing careers. The Newmans themselves have rescued and
care for five dogs: Digger, Mopar, Harley, Socks and Fred.[citation needed] He helped fund the construction of the Catawba County, North
Carolina Humane Society shelter, in the county where he once lived.
Honors
On April 29, 2008, the St. Joseph County, Indiana Board of Commissioners dedicated a half-mile stretch of newly-rerouted Lincoln Way West
(formerly U.S. Route 20) near the South Bend Regional Airport to Newman.
Ryan Joseph
Newman
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