NASCAR driver Ryan Newman has been out of action since crashing at the end of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. There have been numerous questions about when he will make his return to the track, and now the answer has been provided. Newman plans on driving the No. 6 Ford Mustang when the season returns.
Newman appeared on FOX's pre-race broadcast on Sunday afternoon ahead of the Geico 70 virtual race at Talladega Superspeedway. During this interview, he revealed that he will soon be back behind the wheel for Roush Fenway Racing. When pressed for further details, Newman confirmed that he plans to take part in the next race in the Cup Series. The earliest possible return to the track is on May 17, but the veteran driver will be ready, regardless.
"I'm so excited and thankful, all at the same time," Newman said during an interview with announcer Mike Joy. "Excited to be healthy and — at some point — to get back in the race car when the world starts turning again. ... I'm healthy. I've been blessed with another layer of this situation giving me more time to heal."
Newman has previously expressed the desire to return to racing, including during an April 8 interview on SiriusXM, but the sport has been postponed due to COVID-19. There have been preliminary discussions about the season returning in May with a race in Texas, but nothing has been solidified. For now, the organization will continue focusing on the virtual Pro Invitational Series while examining every possibility for future races.
With this news surfacing on Sunday afternoon, the majority of fans were overjoyed about Newman getting back behind the wheel. However, there were others concerned about driver Ross Chastain. The Roush Fenway team has been using Chastain as an interim replacement for Newman while he recovers, and the fans wanted to know how he would take the news.0comments
"I'm happy Ryan is returning to the No. 6 when NASCAR resumes. He has a wonderful team around him and it'll be great to see him back competing," Chastain wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday. "Thanks to Jack, RFR and all their sponsors for letting me keep his seat warm while he was making his recovery."
Having one race take place in Texas does not necessarily mean that the entire Cup Series will be on once again. There are several states involved in the season, all of which have different guidelines for quarantine amid the pandemic. The season is still in flux, but the current plan is for Newman to be suited up and behind the wheel once it returns.