Ryan Newman and Rick Ware Racing had a long day Sunday at Darlington Raceway, but according to Newman, the results were deceiving.
“It was a decent run for us, I feel,” Newman said. “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 wound up 28th in his first NASCAR Cup Series race since the 2021 season finale. Rick Ware Racing was able to put the former Daytona 500 champion in the car for the Goodyear 400 as it goes through replacements for Cody Ware, who was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR last month after being arrested for assault.
Despite the time away, Newman immediately felt comfortable in the Next Gen car. He qualified 26th.
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Newman lost a lap early in Sunday’s 400-mile race and never recovered the track position. There were also concerning comments from Newman about dealing with rib pain, which was the result of a badly fitted seat.
“My seat was not comfortable,” Newman said. “I had rib pain after the end of the first stage, so I was miserable in the car. I’ve got a cramp in my foot. My ribs feel like somebody punched me. So, I’m just happy to be walking and moving right now.”
The day was capped off when Newman spun on his own late in the final stage. But none of the adversity dampened his view of the day, and Newman remains open to the possibility of doing more races after he was announced as being set for select events with the team.
“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.”
As for what it was like to be back in Cup Series competition, mixing it up in the field, Newman laughed at being able to “watch the idiots.”
“It was fine,” Newman continued about his day. “We never caught any cautions early to help us get back on the lead lap after we lost a lap, and literally, we missed it by one on the first caution, and then [AJ Allmendinger] got the lucky dog. That would have changed our day.
“Ultimately, like I said, wasn’t comfortable in the car and got some work to do. We’ll work on it.”