Ryan Newman set to compete in Richmond modified race

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Former NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman will make his first pavement start of the year Friday in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Richmond Raceway.

Newman, who was displaced from the No. 6 Ford at RFK Racing after Brad Keselowski took over as a co-owner and driver, will pilot the No. 39 car for Sadler-Stanley Racing, a team created by former NASCAR competitor and analyst Hermie Sadler and Viriginia state senator Bill Stanley.

Newman, 44, made three starts on the modified tour in 2021, competing at Martinsville, New Hampshire and Richmond. After suffering engine issues at Martinsville and New Hampshire, Newman led six laps and finished fourth at Richmond last September.

“This is a great opportunity for me to race at a track I love competing at,” Newman said in a press release. “Hermie and Bill have put together a good team and great equipment with their support from Pace-O-Matic.”

Also sponsoring the 2002 Cup Series rookie of the year will be Simply Southern, a T-shirt and clothing design company.

“When Hermie called me about this opportunity, I immediately thought about reaching out to Simply Southern,” Newman said in the release. “Having Simply Southern as the primary sponsor on the modified (Friday) is the perfect way to establish a partnership with the iconic apparel brand.”

Sadler, a Virginia native, praised Newman’s ability ahead of his season debut. Newman is an 18-time winner in the Cup Series with 51 pole awards in addition to seven Xfinity Series wins, one Truck win and four modified wins.

“Having a driver like Ryan Newman does a lot for our young race team,” Sadler said. “Ryan’s record speaks for itself. He’s one of the best drivers of his generation. Having him drive our car brings great credibility to our team and his experience and feedback will be a tremendous help moving forward.”

Newman also competed in a midget car at the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals in January.