Ryan Newman has been a great driver, but there is a feeling that he will not be with Penske Racing in 2009. Despite winning the Daytona 500, he is currently in 17th place in the standings. He also only has one pole, two top fives and five top tens.
In 2002, Newman entered his rookie year finishing in sixth place and becoming Rookie of the Year. He also got his first career win in the rain shortened New Hampshire 300 that year.
In 2003, Newman managed to get 8 wins and 11 poles, but only finished in sixth.
In 2004, Newman won 2 races and got nine more poles. By the end of 2004, Newman got more poles than wins, 26 to 11.
In 2005, Newman would win his last race before the 2008 Daytona 500 and he would also get 8 poles. Newman would also finish in the top 10 in points for the last time (for now).
Though Newman is a great driver to get you the poles that you need to start up front, he has managed to struggle to get those wins. If PenskeRacing does not extend his contact, at least he has a few choices to go (I am using some of the same choices as I did withthe Tony Stewart article that was published earlier in the month):
Childress: They are planning to start a fourth team, and are looking for a driver to fill the No. 33 car.
Haas:They have been struggling this year looking for a driver for the No. 70 car. Mayfield left after a few races, and Schrader and Leffler have been in and out of the car.
DEI: Paul Menard's contract with the team ends at the end of the season. If they do not extend Menard's contract, expect Newman to be on the list to replace him as the driver for the team.
Gibbs: If Tony Stewart decides to leave Joe Gibbs Racing for a Chevy team, expect Newman to fill the void.