Ryan Newman has found a home.
Monday afternoon brought the news that Newman would be joining Richard Childress Racing next season, filling the No. 31 seat the once held Jeff Burton. This comes over a month after the driver was told he would not be back at Stewart-Haas Racing due to money issues. Weeks later, it was revealed Kurt Busch was hired by SHR, making the wound meet salt.
Yet, he had a reason to smile all along: during the week of the Daytona 500, owner Richard Childress spoke with Newman about plans for 2014. Now, everything is falling into place.
The deal is for three years. Luke Lambert will crew chief, while the No. 31 crew stays the same. Caterpillar will return as a sponsor.
As if his Monday couldn’t get any better, that night brought more life-changing news: Martin Truex Jr. was out of The Chase as one of the penalties given to Michael Waltrip Racingafter controversial moves at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night. Truex suffered a 50-point penalty before The Chase reset, which shoved him down to seventeenth in points.
This made the second wild card -and an exclusive Chase berth- fall into Newman’s hands. Clint Bowyer, who’s spin Saturday night somewhat led to the No. 39’s entrance into the playoffs, said that replacing Truex was “the right thing to do.”
The roller coaster summer has finally slowed down, playing in the favor of Newman, who seemed like the unluckiest man at one point. From no job to a new position and a spot in The Chase, happy days are here again.