The driver of the No. 6 met with media members for a 30-minute session on Saturday, November 6, to discuss his final race with Roush Fenway Racing and his uncertain future. Newman said that he hopes the November 7 race at Phoenix will not be his final in the Cup Series. Though he clarified that he has nothing to announce.
“I’m not announcing any kind of retirement or anything like that,” Newman told media members, video courtesy of FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass. “I’m really just… I don’t have anything on paper for next year right now.”
Newman added that it “is ironic” that the race at Phoenix could potentially be his last in the NASCAR Cup Series. He first suited up for his first race at the top level at Phoenix on Sunday, November 5, 2000. He headed to the one-mile oval while driving the No. 02 for Team Penske.
Newman Will Finish 2021 With 725 Total Cup Series Starts
The veteran NASCAR driver has been a mainstay in the Cup Series since 2002, his first full-time season. He has suited up for several teams, a list that includes Team Penske, Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing while starting more than 700 races.
Newman hasn’t won the Cup Series championship, but he has achieved a considerable amount. He has 18 career wins, as well as two Crown Jewels. He won the 2013 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the 2008 Daytona 500. Newman also finished second in the 2014 championship standings behind Kevin Harvick in the first season of the playoff format.
While Newman has won several races and captured two Crown Jewel races, he has made it clear that he isn’t content with his career. He told reporters on November 6 that he has “way too many losses” and that there is no way to get enough wins to make up for them.
Newman Is One of Multiple Drivers Looking for a Seat
The Rocket Man is not the only driver that has yet to announce any plans for the upcoming season. Ryan Preece and Matt DiBenedetto are both seeking opportunities as the end of the 2021 season approaches.
Preece spoke to Kelly Crandall of Racer on November 6 and confirmed that he has had some discussions about his upcoming season. He doesn’t have anything concrete lined up, but he mentioned that there are a lot of good opportunities. Preece also confirmed that he has spoken to Hattori Racing Enterprises, a Truck Series team seeking its next driver after Austin Hill announced that he will join Richard Childress Racing in the Xfinity Series.
DiBenedetto has searched for his next opportunity since the July 15 announcement that Harrison Burton will replace him at Wood Brothers Racing in 2022. He spoke to Rick Ware Racing, as did Newman, but he has not announced anything. DiBenedetto reiterated to media members on November 6 that he remains unsure about his future.
One other wild card is Aric Almirola. The driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing has yet to announce his plans for the 2022 season, but he has expressed the belief multiple times throughout the season that he will be back with the organization. His primary sponsor, Smithfield Foods, is currently in advanced talks with SHR to return for the 2022 season, per Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal.