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NASCAR NEWS 

Ryan Newman extends Stewart-Haas NASCAR Sprint Cup deal

Ryan NewmanRyan Newman will remain at Stewart-Haas Racing for a fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup season, having agreed a one-year extension.

The 34-year-old, who has been Tony Stewart's team-mate since the squad's debut season in 2009, will drive the #39 Chevrolet for at least one more year, despite his car still lacking a main sponsor for 2013.

Newman has won three races for SHR and been in the championship Chase in two of his three seasons with the squad, finishing ninth and 10th in the points in 2009 and '11 respectively.

He is currently 17th in the standings heading into this weekend's race at Richmond, where the play-off field will be set. With one win to his name, earned early this season at Martinsville, his chances of making the Chase hinge on him claiming a victory on Saturday night.

Team owner and reigning champion Stewart said it was important for his outfit to keep Newman on board despite not having a budget for the #39 car for next year yet.

Stewart's organisation also faces a tough task in replacing Office Depot as one of the main sponsors of his #14 car as the brand announced recently that it will not return with SHR next year.

"It is something that is important to me, it was important obviously to Ryan," said Stewart. "It was important to people on our team to get him re-signed. I'm just glad we got it done right now. You have to start first with something.

"It's kind of what is first, the chicken or the egg? It's hard to get sponsors if you don't have a driver. And, it's hard to have a driver if you don't have sponsors. So, we had to start somewhere."

SHR is set to have three full-time cars in 2013 with Danica Patrick embarking on a full-time Cup assault alongside Stewart and Newman.

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