RYAN NEWMAN SET FOR SPRINT/MIDGET "DOUBLE" AT CMS IN USAC "SALUTE TO THE RED, WHITE & BLUE" "Rocketman" Ryan Newman of South Bend, Ind., USAC's 1999 Silver Crown Champion and the only driver to earn "Rookie of the Year honors...
RYAN NEWMAN SET FOR SPRINT/MIDGET "DOUBLE" AT CMS IN USAC "SALUTE TO THE RED, WHITE & BLUE"
"Rocketman" Ryan Newman of South Bend, Ind., USAC's 1999 Silver Crown Champion and the only driver to earn "Rookie of the Year honors in all three USAC National racing series, returns to USAC National competition for the first time in six years when he competes in both ends of race organizer Tony Barhorst's "Salute to the Red, White & Blue" USAC Sprint/Midget "doubleheader July 4 at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.
Newman, who competed in the USAC Regional Midget race June 14 at his "hometown" South Bend Motor Speedway, is slated to drive a Midget fielded by Corey Tucker of Mooresville, N.C. and a Sprint car entered by Keith Kunz Motorsports of Columbus, Ind.
Newman's last USAC National Midget appearance came in the 2000 "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at Irwindale, Calif. and his last National Sprint Car start came at Winchester, Ind. the same year. In 2000 he scored the last of his 13 career USAC Midget victories at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. and the last of his two Sprint car wins at Anderson, Ind the same year. His final four USAC Sprint car starts resulted in second-place finishes!
On five occasions Newman has won the Midget opener of a USAC Midget/Sprint "doubleheader," but he has yet to record a "sweep." A sweep has only happened 22 times in 179 such events.
The Sprint and Midget features at the 1/3-mile paved Columbus oval will be 40 laps each. Dana Carter won USAC's only previous Sprint car race at CMS, in 1978, while the Midgets have competed there numerous times. Bryan Clauson became the youngest driver in USAC history to win a National feature event when won last year's October Midget race there.
Nicknamed "Rocketman" because of his 34 NASCAR pole positions, Newman, who also won the NASCAR Cup Series "Rookie of the Year" honors in 2002, will be among drivers challenging the CMS track records of Clauson (13.655, Midgets) and Marvin Carman (14.474, Sprints) on Independence Day.
Although Newman has never won a USAC race in Ohio his only Sprint car triumphs came in cars owned by Dayton's Johnny Vance.