Ryan Newman has lived up to his nickname, “Rocket Man,” countless times in his NASCAR career.
Now he’s living up to his surname. Since joining Roush Fenway Racing this season, Newman – particularly of late – has been driving like a new man in the No. 6 Ford.
In his last four races, Newman has finished 11th (Texas), ninth (at both Bristol and Richmond) and a season-high seventh this past Sunday at Talladega, the first time he has had three straight top 10s since 2017. He’s also earned 23 stage points in three of those four events.
“I’m proud of what we are building together as a team this year, (crew chief) Scott Graves, myself and the guys,” Newman said in a media release. “I think if you look at our package and the history of Roush Fenway Racing, the No. 6 car and our sport, it’s proven to be a very competitive car and I’m happy to be able to make steps in that direction to be more competitive.”
Also during that same time, he’s climbed from 19th to 13th in the Cup points standings.
It’s the best run of consecutive races for the No. 6 team since NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin had four straight top 10s in the 2006 season.
“We are making steps in the right direction,” Newman said. “It’s been a new situation for me. Not just with Roush Fenway, but a new rules package, new manufacturer and many other factors. But, I’ve been pleased with our progress and we will continue to work at it each week and get better each week and we will see just how competitive we can be as the season progresses.”
And now, as he prepares for this Sunday’s Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway, Newman not only has a good run of momentum going, he has the potential to earn his first Cup win since 2017 (spring race at Phoenix) and only his second win since capturing the 2013 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.
The reason for such optimism is simple: Of his 18 career Cup wins, Newman has enjoyed the best success of his career on Dover’s 1-mile concrete surface, as well as at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He has three wins and seven top fives at each track.
“Dover has always been a favorite of mine, but one that requires toughness inside the car,” Newman said. “It’s so unique in the way you have to manage the corners and getting the setup right is key for a solid day. We’ve been able to continue our upward trend so we’re looking forward to having some more fun this weekend.”