Newman To Join Roush Fenway

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 22 2018

Ryan Newman will be moving to the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford in 2019. RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)

RICHMOND, Va. – Ryan Newman’s engineering degree coupled with his knowledge of various race cars made him the ideal driver for Roush Fenway Racing’s flagship No. 6 Ford in 2019, Roush Fenway Racing executives said Saturday at Richmond Raceway.

“We think Ryan is fairly unique in the garage with his engineering background, with the number of different teams and manufacturers that he’s seen,” Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark said. “We think that’s going to help tremendously as we try to take that next step. You look at his track record; it’s as good as anyone out there.”

Last weekend at Las Vegas, Newman announced via Twitter that he wouldn’t return to Richard Childress Racing where he won one race in five years. With his decision for 2019, he returns to the manufacturer where he began his stock car racing career in 2000. While driving a Ford for Roger Penske, Newman won six races – four in ARCA and one each in Cup and Busch (Xfinity).

“It was a good start to my career, both from a back-in-the-day Busch side, even ARCA side as well as the Cup side, when we got the ball rolling,” Newman said. “We were always competitive. We had really strong horsepower.

“From my standpoint, it’s about people. Ford has proven this year to have the right people in the right places to be successful and the win column says that.  

“From the performance standpoint, what they bring with Roush-Yates Engines, the people, everything that’s built and invested is there to stay. It’s an opportunity for me to help them grow their program from where they have been to, hopefully, where we all want to be. I think we have an equal opportunity of doing that. I can bring different perspectives that I have kept in the back of my mind that make an impact on the end result of being successful.”  

Newman’s return to Ford comes after six years with Dodge and 10 years in a Chevrolet. It also comes with Ford’s introduction of its iconic Mustang into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The Mustang has been raced in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series since 2011.

“I think from an engineering standpoint, having a lot of experience with different packages over the last 18 years of my Cup career and the knowledge of the engineers at Roush Fenway in conjunction with Ford (will be beneficial),” Newman said. “They’re (Roush Fenway) willing to listen and make the right decisions collectively. Everybody puts that effort forward; it’s just a matter of how well you do it.”

Roush Fenway Racing has struggled in recent years, collecting only seven victories in the last six seasons. The organization was winless in 2015, ’16 and ’18. In mid-season, the organization decided to bring in veteran Matt Kenseth to share the No. 6 with regular driver Trevor Bayne. The team wanted Kenseth to dissect the car.

“Matt has brought some ideas to us to make our car better,” team co-owner Jack Roush said. “He brought a sense as to what was happening on all four corners of the car. 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 clear that’s going to make better race cars going forward.”

Roush Fenway held discussions in August with Kenseth about competing fulltime, but Newmark said he declined, citing family and the time focused on the sport over the last 20 years. However, Newmark said he hoped to have a discussion with Kenseth about another role in the organization. Kenseth drove for Roush Fenway for 14 years.

Newmark said when he and Kenseth talked about the drivers who were available the Wisconsin native had a “big endorsement for Ryan.”

“He thought he would fit in extremely well with the culture that we have and where we’re trying to go,” Newmark said.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 22 2018
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