Brad Keselowski is officially set to take over behind the wheel of the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, and Ryan Newman is headed to free agency for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. Here are three possible landing spots for Newman for next year.
NASCAR‘s worst-kept secret of this year’s silly season was finally announced when Roush Fenway Racing formally confirmed that current Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski would not only take over for Ryan Newman behind the wheel of the #6 Ford Mustang but also take on an ownership role in the company starting in 2022.
This move leaves the 43-year-old Newman without a ride in the Cup Series heading into next season, and leaves a lot of questions about his future.
The South Bend, Indiana native has been on record saying that he wants to compete next year and beyond, and he still has goals to accomplish, such as winning his first Cup Series championship. He has already won several crown jewel events, including the 2008 Daytona 500 and the 2013 Brickyard 400.
So if it’s a championship (and more wins to put in him in championship contention) he’s chasing, securing a ride for 2022 is undoubtedly now his number one goal. Only time will tell where he lands, but like we’ve seen before in NASCAR, there is generally room for veteran racers.
Here are a few possible landing spots for Newman in 2022.
Ryan Newman 2022 landing spots: No. 1 – A smaller team
While Roush Fenway Racing are far from the glory days of being the home of NASCAR Cup Series champions such as Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch, they have shown some promise within the organization. Unfortunately for Newman, the most promise has been show by teammate Chris Buescher.
Buescher hasn’t won this season and will most likely need a win to get in the playoffs thanks to the fact that there have been 13 different winners through 22 races, but he does currently sit in 16th place in the point standings. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Newman, who sits down in 27th.
Compared to a shortened 2020 season when he was sidelined for three races due to a crash at the end of the Daytona 500, Newman has actually shown some progress this year. He has already matched his top 10 finish total from a year ago and secured a top five finish in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway, showing that he can still drive.
But with a recent string of finishes of 22nd place or worse in nine of the last 10 races, a full-time ride at a top-tier organization may be out of the picture in 2022.
Newman can look to teams such as Richard Petty Motorsports, which have an opt-out clause in Erik Jones’s contract, or Front Row Motorsports if they decide to move on from rookie Anthony Alfredo. Chartered teams such as these two would ensure Newman a full-time schedule and at least one more chance to win and secure a playoff berth, where he can once again pursue a title.