Penske Newman To Part

Less than five months after winning the Daytona 500, Ryan Newman and car owner Roger Penske announced the duo will part ways and the team will have a new driver in its No. 12 entry in 2009.

"We want to thank Ryan for his hard work and contributions to Penske Racing over the past nine years,” said Roger Penske, owner of Penske Racing. “We wish Ryan all the best for the future and we’ll continue to focus our efforts on making the Chase with Ryan and the Alltel Dodge team this season.”

During his tenure with Penske, Newman won 16 Sprint Cup races in all 243 of his career starts in NASCAR's top division.

“I appreciate Penske Racing and all they have done for me, but more importantly, I appreciate their friendship and what they have done for my career," said Newman. "I would also like to thank all of the sponsors, especially Alltel, who have supported me."

The move paves the way for Newman to join Tony Stewart as a teammate in the new Stewart-Haas Racing operation which was unveiled last weekend in an announcement at Chicagoland Speedway.

Sources say the official announcement of Newman joining Stewart's group could come next weekend when the series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, a perfect setting for the two Indiana natives.

Indications are David Stremme is the leading candidate to replace Newman in the No. 12 Penske ride.

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