16-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran Ryan Newman will not return to Richard Childress Racing and the No. 31 Chevrolet next season after five years with the team.
The 40-year-old South Bend, Ind. native took to Twitter to announce the news following final practice, where he was quickest.
— Ryan Newman (@RyanJNewman) September 15, 2018
Newman, who left Stewart-Haas Racing following the 2013 season for RCR, has seven top 10 finishes to his credit this season, with his best finish of sixth coming at New Hampshire. His average finish through 26 races is 18.3.
Newman told Frontstretch last week at Indianapolis his season has been “horrible.”
“From my standpoint and what my standards are, it’s been horrible,” he said. “We’re making it so that we’re not finishing on a horrible note.”
Newman has 18 career victories in the Cup Series and one at RCR. He made the Championship Four in his first season with the team back in 2014 and finished second to Kevin Harvick in the standings. He has made the playoffs three of the last five seasons.
“I’m aware of our team and our situation,” Newman said. “When our pit stops are struggling, I call them out. When I make a mistake, I call myself out. If we make a strategy call that doesn’t make any sense and in the end costs us positions, I call it out. We are all going to deal with that and you have to have confidence in yourself first and foremost. After that, you have to have confidence in your team, and our team has been rebuilding.”
Daniel Hemric, a current NASCAR Xfinity driver for RCR, is a likely candidate to fill the seat but has been rumored to be in talks with other teams. Other free agents after this season include Matt DiBenedetto and Trevor Bayne.