Ryan Newman announced via Twitter on Saturday afternoon that he would not return to Richard Childress Racing following the 2018 season.
The veteran driver, who is in his fifth season with RCR, says his intention is to compete full time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019, but he is not ready to announce his future plans yet.
“I want to take a moment to let everyone know that I will not return to Richard Childress Racing in 2019,” Newman wrote. “I have very much enjoyed driving the No. 31 car and I want to personally thank Richard Childress and everyone at RCR for the support over the past five seasons.”
— Ryan Newman (@RyanJNewman) September 15, 2018
Team owner Richard Childress told NASCAR.com in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway garage that Newman has been a “good veteran driver” for the team for the last five seasons. He said that it was too early to reveal plans for the No. 31 ride for 2019.
“We knew we were going to change,” Childress said. “It’s just when we were going to announce it.”
Newman missed the playoffs in 2018 for just the second time with Childress. His first year with the team (2014) produced his best result, with the No. 31 group emerging as a playoff sleeper, advancing to the Championship 4 in Miami and coming within a few laps of winning the championship.
The veteran won his first race with RCR last year at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. Through 26 races this year, he has seven top-10 finishes. In his career, he has 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories.
Statement from Richard Childress Racing:
“We want to thank Ryan for his talent and dedication over the past five years, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. The No. 31 Chevrolet has been an important part of RCR for many years. We have outstanding partners in Chevrolet, Caterpillar, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Grainger, Liberty National Life Insurance Co., Coca-Cola, Okuma and eBay Motors, and will continue to deliver value for them as we move forward.
“We are looking forward to the next chapter for the No. 31 team and will announce our new driver in the near future.”