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Ryan Newman Records 28th-Place Finish in ‘Fun’ Return to Cup Series Competition

Ryan Newman’s NASCAR Cup Series return was mostly a positive experience, finishing 28th, four laps off the pace for Rick Ware Racing in the No. 51 Ford Mustang. However, some comfort issues seemed to plague the 45-year-old driver throughout the entire 400-mile contest. PC: David Rosenblum | NKP | Courtesy of Ford Performance

After being away from the NASCAR Cup Series for more than a year, Ryan Newman made his return to the top level of stock car racing in Sunday’s Goodyear 400, driving the No. 51 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing.

While his 28th-place result wasn’t glamorous by any means, Newman’s first experience in NASCAR’s Next-Gen car was seemingly a success in the eyes of the 45-year-old driver, who is scheduled to return to the entry for the NASCAR All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro.

“Well, we got caught a lap down early, then we got caught two laps down just as quick as we got caught one lap down, and that changed our day,” said Newman. “We were a better car than some of the guys inside the top-10.”

“I just didn’t know what to expect, got a slow start to the race and that cost us a lap,” Newman continued. “If [Martin Truex, Jr.] wasn’t so fast, he wouldn’t have lapped up both times. So, either way, it was a decent run for us.”

Having not competed in an event close to this length or distance since November 2021, Newman was able to call his return to the NASCAR Cup Series a success, with no major on-track incidents, outside of a few minor issues.

The South Bend, Indiana native was only responsible for causing one caution throughout the 400-mile event, that being for a single-car spin with 18 laps to go, one that triggered a late-race dash to the finish.

Newman also got a small piece of the 10-car accident that broke out earlier in the event, when Erik Jones lost his right-rear wheel in front of a pack of about 20 cars or so. The Rick Ware Racing driver’s involvement came as a result of a shove from Chris Buescher.

However, the main obstacle that the 18-time NASCAR Cup Series winner faced in his return to the series was comfort-related, as Newman told members of the media that his seat was not fitted properly.

“My seat was not comfortable,” Newman explained. “I had rib pain after the end of the first stage so I was miserable in the car. I got a cramp in my foot, my ribs feel like somebody punched me, so I’m just happy to be walking and moving right now.”

In the end, though, Newman was able to complete the entire 400-mile contest without any major damage to his No. 51 Ford Mustang, and brought home a solid finish of 28th for Rick Ware Racing, a result he feels the team could have improved on.

On a more positive note, though, Newman noted that his return to the NASCAR Cup Series was certainly fun and that he and Rick Ware Racing would be having some discussions about any future events.

“I had fun today, there’s no doubt about that. Not the finish that I think our team deserved, and was capable of, but ultimately we had some decent speed in the car, my first experience with the car. So, we’ll see. We’ll have a discussion.”

Newman is expected to return to the NASCAR Cup Series for the NASCAR All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro Speedway, while also returning for the Southern 500, Bristol, Richmond, and Martinsville.

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