Richard Childress Racing has signed Ryan Newman to drive the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting in 2014. Newman, 35, is a 17-time NSCS race winner with 50 pole awards to his credit; and is the 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400 champion. "This is a great opportunity for our team," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "I am very proud to have Ryan in our #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet starting next year.
We have high expectations for this #31 team. Ryan has proven himself to be a great driver and I'm looking forward to winning races with him. Luke Lambert will be his crew chief and the team is staying together next year. That team is building momentum to not only finish out this year strong, but to get even better in 2014. Ryan will be a great fit with CAT and RCR in many ways. He's an outdoorsman, a conservationist and is very familiar with CAT equipment as an owner of some of their products."
A native of South Bend, Ind., Newman earned an engineering degree from Purdue University in 2001. "I'm very pleased Richard and I were able to put this deal together for me to drive RCR's #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet," Newman said. "About five years ago, Richard and I talked about me joining RCR before I signed with my current team, but things just didn't work out.
However, we were able to make it happen this time and I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my career. RCR has a long history of winning races and championships, and I want to add to that tradition. I am very excited to work with Caterpillar. They are a world-class company and I look forward to learning more about them. Since I'm already a customer of theirs, I can honestly say they make incredible equipment. One important thing I sincerely want everyone to know is how much I respect and admire Jeff Burton as a person and driver. He handled his recent announcement and situation with respect, class and dignity.
We're going to finish this season strong with the #39 team and give it our all to win races. Then, I'll concentrate on working with Luke Lambert and the other members of RCR as we get ready for 2014." Announcements on sponsors in addition to Caterpillar will be made at a later date.
"We are excited to have Ryan Newman driving the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS in 2014," said Greg Towles, NASCAR Program Director for Caterpillar. "Ryan's racing accomplishments are well known and, when coupled with his knowledge of machinery and passion for the outdoors, he aligns well with Caterpillar customers, dealers and employees." RCR
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