New­man mov­ing to Roush-Fen­way in ’19

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports - By Hank Kurz Jr. As­so­ci­ated Press

RICH­MOND, Va. — Ryan New­man will drive full time for Roush-Fen­way Rac­ing in the No. 6 Ford next sea­son in NASCAR’s Cup se­ries.

The team an­nounced the move Satur­day at Rich­mond Race­way, hours be­fore the sec­ond race of the play­offs.

New­man has driven the No. 31 for Richard Chil­dress Rac­ing since 2014, but did not make the play­offs as one of the top 16 teams for the sec­ond time in three years. He an­nounced ear­lier this year he would leave the team at the end of the sea­son.

“I’m at a po­si­tion where I’ve never wanted to stop, I’ve never wanted to quit, never wanted to re­tire, and I want to win a cham­pi­onship,” New­man said.

New­man has won 18 races in his ca­reer, in­clud­ing eight in the 2003 sea­son. He fin­ished sec­ond to Kevin Har­vick in the 2014 cham­pi­onship race.

New­man praised owner Jack Roush’s his­tory as a car owner, and said one of the ideas that at­tracted him to the or­ga­ni­za­tion was “it’s an op­por­tu­nity for me to help them grow their pro­gram from where they have been and hope­fully to where we all want to be, and I think that we have both an equal op­por­tu­nity of do­ing that.”

Trevor Bayne drove the No. 6 from 2015-17, and split time this sea­son with Matt Kenseth, the 2003 Cup se­ries cham­pion. Kenseth, who won his cham­pi­onship with owner Roush one year be­fore Roush driver Kurt Busch gave him two in a row, re­tired af­ter last sea­son, but came back to help the strug­gling team.

“I’ve never wanted to quit, never wanted to re­tire, and I want to win a cham­pi­onship.” Ryan New­man

Bayne has never fin­ished bet­ter than 22nd in the stand­ings for Roush, who also fields a team with Ricky Sten­house Jr.

Roush said re­tired NASCAR driver Mark Martin en­cour­aged him to bring Kenseth aboard to help with the set­ups of his race cars.

“Even though the re­sults haven’t jus­ti­fied the ef­fort, we’ve had more speed in our cars and we’ve got a di­rec­tion that’s go­ing to be clear that will make bet­ter race cars and bet­ter rac­ing for our fans go­ing for­ward,” Roush said, adding that he’s not cer­tain what Kenseth’s role will be with the team go­ing for­ward.

Roush and team pres­i­dent Steve New­mark de­clined to say whether the team has se­cured spon­sor­ship for the car.

“Ryan New­man has been one of the most fierce driv­ers that we’ve faced on the race track,” Roush said. “One of the things that a driver has to have is a code that makes sense to other driv­ers. When­ever you raced Mark, you knew what to ex­pect. When­ever you raced Matt, you knew what to ex­pect, and when­ever you raced Ryan, you could know what to ex­pect as well. I look for­ward to that work­ing in our fa­vor.”

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