Ryan Newman made his Cup Series return at Darlington Raceway last weekend after the 2021 season finale.
The veteran NASCAR driver is finally back in the sports’ top tier. He will drive for Rick Ware Racing in select races in the 2023 season and Darlington was the first.
He would be disappointed to have finished 28th in the race. But after such a long gap since his last NASCAR run, he considered it a “decent run”.
“It was a decent run for us, I feel. For me, I ran out of talent. I’ve seen other guys run out of talent several times in one race. So, I feel like it was decent,” Newman said.
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Newman came in as a replacement for Cody Ware, who was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR last month. He was arrested for assault.
The experience of return is even bigger for Newman as NASCAR introduced the Next Gen series in the 2022 season. Newman said that he was not comfortable in the car and had cramps in his foot, but in terms of the race experience, he is looking to build up from his first attempt with the car.
“I had fun today, there’s no doubt about that,” Newman said. “It’s not the finish I think our team deserved and we’re capable of, but ultimately, we had some decent speed in the car (in) my first experience with it.
“So, we’ll see. We’ll have a discussion.”
Darlington was Newman’s 726th start in the series, in which he has 18 race wins.