Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fast Facts: Ryan Newman

Credit: Getty Images/Jerry Markland
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 US Army/Haas Automation/Quicken Loans/Tornados/Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, earned the nickname “Rocket Man” while at Penske Racing after earning 42 poles from 2002 to 2008. Learn more about this animal-lover and father of two in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Ryan Joseph Newman was born December 8, 1977 in South Bend, Indiana. Newman began racing in 1982 as a 4-year-old behind the wheel of a quarter midget; at age 9, he already has a resume that included over 20 victories, the Kokomo (Indiana) track championship and the Eastern Grand National Quarter Midget Championship in the Junior Stock Division. Newman racked up numerous feature wins and titles, leading to his inductions into the Quarter Midget Hall of Fame in 1993 – at 15 years of age.
  • Newman moved into a full-sized midget car in 1993, racing in the All-American Midget Series and later in the USAC National Midget Series. In 1995, Newman was named Rookie of the Year in Midget Series, then followed that up with the same honor in USAC’s Silver Crown Series in 1996. Newman earned his first major USAC win in the “Night Before the 500” race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis in 1997.
  • In 1999, Newman raced in all three USAC national series – Midgets, Silver Crown and Sprints – and added more impressive statistics to his resume: the 1999 Silver Crown championship and the 1999 Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year, making him the only driver to win the ROTY title in all three series. While doing all this, Newman was studying vehicle structure engineering at Indiana’s Purdue University; Newman graduates with his bachelor’s degree in August 2001.
  • Newman caught the eye of famed championship motorsports team owner Roger Penske and signed on with his team in 2000. In 2000 and 2001, Newman ran what was then known as the “A-B-C” plan – various races in the ARCA Racing Series, the NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) and the Cup Series. He racked up wins in both the ARCA and Busch Series, and won his first Cup Series pole at Charlotte in 2001.
  • In 2002, his first full-time season in the Cup Series, Newman won the Rookie of the Year Award over Jimmie Johnson, winning six poles and collecting one win and 22 top 10 finishes. He continued to impress in 2003 when he won 11 poles and went to victory lane eight times. As a member of Penske Racing, Newman amassed 43 poles, 13 wins and had a best finish of sixth in points three times.
  • In 2009, Newman moved to Stewart-Haas Racing with fellow USAC graduate Tony Stewart as his teammate and team owner. In his first three seasons with the team (2009 through 2011), he earned six poles, two wins and 46 top 10 finishes.
  • Newman and his wife Krissie have two daughters, Brooklyn Sage, born November 18, 2010, and Ashlyn Olivia, born July 16, 2012. Together the Newmans founded the Ryan Newman Foundation, which works towards educating and encouraging people to have their pets spayed or neutered as well as adopting from animal shelters. The foundation also educates people on the importance of outdoor conservation and provides scholarship funding for the Rich Vogler Scholarship Program, a program close to Newman as he was a scholarship recipient.
  • Find out more about Ryan Newman at his website, www.ryannewman.org. Find out more about his foundation at www.ryannewmanfoundation.org.  

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