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Ryan Newman returns for selected NASCAR Cup races with Rick Ware Racing

NASCAR veteran Ryan Newman will make a surprise return to the Cup Series this year, running select races for Ford squad Rick Ware Racing.

#6: Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang Koch Industries

The 45-year-old winner of the 2008 Daytona 500 retired at the end of the 2021 campaign after 20 full seasons in Cup.

But the 2014 Cup Series runner-up will make his first appearance with the Next Gen car at Darlington Raceway next weekend in the #15 Mustang driven by 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button at Circuit of the Americas last month.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Rick Ware Racing and Ford,” said Newman, who is reunited with the Blue Oval after racing Fords for Roush Fenway Racing (now RFK Racing) from 2019 to 2021.

“I think this will be good for all of us with our combined experience and knowledge.

“Being part of the Throwback Weekend at one of my favorite tracks in Darlington is pretty special. After recently being named one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers, it carries even some significance.”

The veteran racer made 725 starts at Cup level, winning 18 races including the 2013 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during spells with Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing and Richard Childress Racing.

Newman's most productive season came in his second Cup campaign in 2003, when he won eight times for Penske.

After stepping away from NASCAR he spent the summer of 2022 competing in Tony Stewart's Superstar Racing Experience, winning once at Stafford and ending the season as the championship runner-up.

It's currently unclear how many races Newman will run and when his other starts may be.

Newman's most famous win came at the 2008 Daytona 500 for Team Penske

Newman's most famous win came at the 2008 Daytona 500 for Team Penske

Photo by: Motorsport Images

“I remember watching ‘Thursday Night Thunder’ on ESPN and seeing Ryan compete against some stout competition in those days,” said team owner Rick Ware.

“I became a fan then and when he first came to NASCAR, I knew he was going to be a great driver and win a lot of races.

“He brings great depth and insight to RWR while we continue to grow our team.

“Ryan’s been a great ambassador for our sport and Ford. We’re really looking forward to racing with him this season.”

RWR has used a variety of drivers in both the No. 15 and No. 51 cars this year. 

Cody Ware was the team's only full-time driver before being indefinitely suspended by NASCAR after he was arrested and charged with assault in early April.

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