There isn’t much that Ryan Newman hasn’t accomplished in his long and distinguished NASCAR career, other than perhaps winning a Cup Series Championship.
While that’s arguably the hardest thing to accomplish in the sport, there’s no doubt that Newman has enjoyed a truly spectacular career during his 20 years racing in NASCAR.
A Daytona 500 champion among many other races, Ryan Newman is now in his 40s but has barely slowed down a bit. Keep reading to learn more about Newman’s fascinating life, along with his career highlights, stats, bio and lots more.
- Full Name: Ryan Joseph Newman
- Nickname: Rocket Man
- Height: 5’11”
- Born: December 8th, 1977
- Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana
- Spouse: Krissie Newman
- Education: Purdue University, Bachelors of Science in Engineering
- Hobbies: Collects and works on vintage cars, 1950s Chryslers in particular
- 1993 All American Midget Series Rookie of the Year and Champion (first to do so)
- Monster Cup Series Rookie of the Year winner in 2002
- 2003 SPEED Driver of the Year
- 2008 Daytona 500 Champion
- Led over 4,800 laps in his career
- 51 poles are ninth-most in Cup history
- 18 career wins 247 career top-tens in 620 career races (as of February 2019)
Ryan Newman Bio
After hitting the track for the first time at age six it’s been nothing but a steady climb to the top for Ryan Newman. He started racing in quarter-midget series and won over 100 races during his young career.
He moved up to the All-American Midget Series in 1993, where he became the first driver to win Rookie of the Year while also being named Series Champion in the same season. Newman raked in more accolades on similar circuits throughout the 1990s and by the time the 2000s rolled around, Newman was ready to cement himself as one of NASCAR’s top drivers.
He broke onto the scene in 2000 with one Monster Energy Cup Series race, but he impressed with three wins in five races on the ARCA Menards circuit that same year. In 2001, Newman had two top-five finishes in seven races in Cup Series action but really wowed on the Xfinity Series circuit where he had eight top-ten finishes, six poles, and his first career win during the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
Newman’s Cup Series Excellence
Ryan Newman has competed in every single race in NASCAR Cup Series since the beginning of the 2002 campaign. Starting in 2002 he went four years without finishing lower than 7th in the overall standings.
2002 was a successful rookie year as Newman won the Winston, No Bull Sprint and the New Hampshire 300. That performance earned him the 2002 Rookie of the Year honors in Cup Series, but it was only a precursor of what was to come in 2003.
In his second full season, Newman was a dominant force on the track. He won an astounding eight races and had 11 more top-five finishes. Even with that success, he only finished 6th overall in the final standings.
He was a mainstay at the top of the charts over the next two seasons and made his return to Xfinity action in 2005. He was dominant during his part-time stay there as well, with six wins in nine races, including five straight victories.
Newman accomplished all of this with Penske Racing for eight years in Cup Series action and ended a two-year winless drought for the team in spectacular fashion by winning the Daytona 500, the first Daytona win for Penske.
Even though Newman is now in his 40’s, he’s hardly slowed down. He’s still considered one of the best drivers of his generation. He’s never finished lower than 18th in the overall standings since joining Cup Series full-time in 2002.
The closest Newman came to winning the Cup title was in 2014, when he finished second overall in the final standings, losing to Kevin Harvick by a single point.