Newman Joins Stewart-Haas
The long anticipated announcement naming Ryan Newman as Tony Stewart’s new NASCAR Sprint Cup team driver became a reality with the official announcement at a press conference on Friday at Michigan International Speedway.
We were joking about it before we came over here to the press conference,” said Stewart, a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion. “This is the best kept secret. I’m like, are you kidding me? I don’t know anything I’ve done in the last eight months that has been a secret.
“But this is an exciting day. I mean, it's very important to Stewart-Haas Racing obviously. You know, being able to announce that we've got Ryan on board is something that we've all been looking forward to since the day that we first spoke with Ryan and Krissie (Newman’s wife) about coming over here and joining the team,” Stewart continued.
Stewart has won twice at MIS, capturing an IROC Series race in 2001 and a Sprint Cup event in 2000. Newman has won four times at MIS, twice in the Sprint Cup Series (2004, 2003) and twice in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (2005, 2001).
Stewart-Haas Racing was formed when Stewart recently received half of the Haas CNC operation currently competing on the Sprint Cup tour. Stewart, in addition to becoming co-owner, will drive a No. 14 car backed by Office Depot and Old Spice. Newman will drive the No. 4, although the sponsorship is unclear.
“It’s just a great opportunity,” Newman said. “I think a lot of Tony, from a personal standpoint as well as a driving standpoint. I've seen the success from an ownership standpoint with the USAC cars and the World of Outlaws cars. I've seen him get the job done at other venues. I just look forward to the opportunity. He’s a hard-nose racer and became a good friend as an opposing competitor. So it says a lot about that. I just look forward to the experience. Hopefully our main goal is that we both achieve our goals, and that's winning championships and both being in the Chase.”
Newman parted ways with Penske Racing, his NASCAR home since he first broke into the sport in 2000, on July 15. Although Newman had other options, the 30-year-old reigning Daytona 500 champion chose to ally with Stewart, also from his home state of Indiana.
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