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NASCAR: Ryan Newman returning to Cup Series for 'select events'

Newman, 45, didn't race in NASCAR during the 2022 season

Ryan Newman said he's returning to NASCAR Cup Series competition after not racing in more than a year. (Photo by Jason Miller/SRX/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman said he's returning to NASCAR Cup Series competition after not racing in more than a year. (Photo by Jason Miller/SRX/Getty Images) (Jason Miller/SRX via Getty Images)

Ryan Newman is coming back to the Cup Series.

Rick Ware Racing announced that Newman would return to the Cup Series at Darlington on May 14 and run “select events” with the back marker team.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Rick Ware Racing and Ford,” Newman said in a statement. “I think this will be good for all of us with our combined experience and knowledge.”

Newman hasn’t made a Cup Series start since the end of the 2021 season with Roush Fenway Racing. He had two top-five finishes and five top 10s as he finished 28th in the standings. With Brad Keselowski moving over to the rebranded Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, Newman was out of NASCAR in 2022 and it appeared his Cup Series career was over as he raced in Tony Stewart's SRX summer series.

It's not over now, even if it’s continuing for just a limited time. Newman, 45, hasn’t won a Cup Series race since 2017 and is very unlikely to add to his total of 18 victories while racing part-time for RWR. Newman’s 18 wins came over 22 seasons at NASCAR’s top level and eight of them came in 2003 as he finished sixth in the standings. He famously finished second in the points standings to Kevin Harvick in 2014 while going winless.

After making the playoffs and finishing 15th in 2019, Newman was involved in a horrific crash while racing for the win on the final lap of the 2020 Daytona 500. Newman's car was upside down and hit on the driver's side by a car at nearly full speed. He was immediately taken to a hospital with a head injury but ended up missing just three races because of NASCAR's pause for the COVID-19 pandemic.

RWR hasn’t fielded a full-time driver during the 2023 season as eight drivers have already made starts with the team. Cody Ware, Rick’s son, was set to run full-time again for the team in 2023 but has been suspended indefinitely after his arrest for felony assault in April.