Ryan Newman


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1977 (43 years old)

Birth Place
South Bend, Indiana


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Roush Fenway Racing

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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Ryan Joseph Newman (born December 8, 1977), nicknamed "Rocket Man", is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 6 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.

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 No. 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 No. 14 Beast Chassis powered Chevy.

Newman began driving for legendary racing icon Roger Penske in 2000, in order to transition to stock car racing. Newman ran the No. 27 Alltel-sponsored Ford for Penske Racing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Newman won three of the five ARCA races he entered, and made his Winston Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway in the No. 02 Alltel-sponsored Ford for Penske. In 2001, Penske planned for Newman to run at least 23 combined events in both ARCA and NASCAR, while Newman attended Purdue University. In addition to five ARCA events, Newman ran 15 Busch Series races that season, winning poles in his second and third career starts and scoring his first career win at Michigan International Speedway in just his 9th career starts. He also had a series-high six poles. Around this time he would meet racing legend Buddy Baker, who would eventually become his mentor on superspeedways.

In 2002, Newman won a season-high six poles, breaking the rookie record set by Davey Allison. In September, he scored his first career Winston Cup win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after starting from the pole. Newman joined Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as the second rookie to win The Winston all-star race. At Watkins Glen later that summer, Ryan Newman led 11 laps and finished second behind Tony Stewart. However the race ended in controversy as it was discovered that Stewart had restarted the race too early and jumped the restart. Despite a protest by Penske, NASCAR upheld Stewart's win. Newman 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), even though Johnson had more wins, finished higher in the points standings, and led the standings at one point.

Newman's sophomore season began with one flip and two near flips at the 2003 Daytona 500 after contact with Ken Schrader and Bobby Labonte. At Watkins Glen, he spun and hit the foam blocks, sending him on his side. The near-flip was at the 2003 Aaron's 499, when he blew a tire mid-pack and nearly turned on his side in turn 1, sparking a 27-car crash, the largest recorded crash in Sprint Cup history. Though finishing the season with a series-high eight wins and eleven poles, Newman 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's 2008 Daytona 500 car, on display at the Daytona 500 Experience
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. 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.

Newman was born December 8, 1977 in South Bend, Indiana. Newman graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a B.S. in engineering. He is married, to Krissie, and they have two daughters.

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.

He was on an episode of American Pickers, buying bumper cars for his children.

He endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 United States Presidential Election.

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