Ryan Newman will be replaced at Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the 2013 season. There is no doubt about that. Kevin Harvick will drive the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet in 2014 for the organization and the team cannot house a four car operation at this time. There just simply is not enough room for the South Bend, Indiana native.
Many rumors have flown about where Newman will spend his 2014 season. Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Furniture Row Racing and Roush Fenway Racing have all been mentioned as possible options for Newman. Newman's current sponsor Quicken Loans is also rumored to be going with Newman to wherever he goes.
While its still unclear exactly where Newman will end up one thing is certain; his next move will be critical for his Sprint Cup Series career.
Newman has spent the last four and a half seasons at Stewart-Haas Racing after spending his first seven full seasons at Penske Racing. When Newman came to Stewart-Haas Racing prior to the 2009 season everyone was expecting big things from the duo of Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman. After a few tough seasons at Penske, Newman was ready to start over and prove that the struggles from his previous team were because of problems out of his control.
In the four and a half years at Stewart-Haas Racing Newman has won just three races, far less than what anyone expected when the deal came together. Newman has made the Chase just once in his tenure at Stewart-Haas and it looks like he will yet again miss out on the Chase in the 2013 season. Eight of Newman's 16 wins came in the 2003 season with Penske alone.
Newman has had just two seasons in his career where he has won more than one race in a year. One of those years, 2003, Newman won eight races and finished sixth in points. In his first four seasons in his career Newman finished in the top ten in points. Since the 2006 season, Newman has done that just twice.
At the start of the 2014 season Ryan Newman will be 36-years-old, not old by any means. He still has at least three or four good years left in his career. With that notice that means Newman will have to be extremely careful with the next contract he signs. Typically a contract in NASCAR runs three to four years. If that's the case Newman's next contract will end when he is forty years old.
Whether Newman will be a guy with a winning record or a guy who had one great year at the end of his next contract will be up to him. While he has plenty of options to contemplate it's important for Newman to get this next move right or he could be written off by some car owners after his next deal. If we see another stint like we've seen at Stewart-Haas Racing it could mean trouble for the once promising young star.
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