Born: December 8, 1977 From: South Bend IN Lives: Statesville NC Drives: #39 US Army Chevrolet For: Stewart-Haas Racing Teammate:#14 Tony Stewart Crew Chief: Tony Gibson Best Year: 6th (2002,2003,2005) Career Wins: 14
With an engineering degree from Purdue University, Ryan Newman is not the typical NASCAR driver. In fact you may hear Ryan describing the handling of his car on the radio to his crew chief with the terms pitch, roll and yaw rather than 'loose' or 'tight' like other drivers.
Ryan began racing Quarter Midgets at age 5 in his home state of Indiana and it wasn't long after that that he also began winning. Within a few years Ryan had won countless races, track championships, regional championships as well as a few Grand National Championships. Ryan was inducted to the Quarter Midget hall of fame in 1993.
Ryan moved up to the USAC ranks driving Midget cars, Silver Crown and Sprint Cars. Newman continued to win as he moved through the USAC ranks. In 2000 he was hired by Roger Penske to drive stock cars in the ARCA series along with racing in all three divisions of USAC all while studying engineering at Purdue University.
In 2001 Newman competed in the ARCA Series, the Nationwide Series and even a few Sprint Cup Series races making his debut at
Phoenix International Raceway
in preparation for his rookie season in 2002 driving full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
In 2002 Newman set a rookie record with six poles. His ability to win so many poles led to the nickname 'Rocketman'. He won his first race in September of that year at the
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
after ...you guessed it ...starting from the pole. That year he also won the 'Rookie of the Year' award by beating out Jimmie Johnson.
In 2003 Newman led the Series with 8 wins and 11 poles. His biggest win came in 2008 when he won the 50th annual
Despite that victory he only finished 17th in points and decided to leave Penske Racing and join the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing with
Perhaps Tony Stewart convinced Ryan to join his team because they are both from Indiana and both grew up racing in USAC. Whatever the reason this team will be contenders since it has two of the most versatile drivers in NASCAR.
has not always been good to Newman. In the 2003 Daytona 500 he had a wild ride!
Away from the track, Ryan is an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. He also runs the Ryan Newman Foundation which promotes spaying and neutering of pets and conservation of the outdoors among other things.