Ryan Newman announced over the weekend that he would not be returning to RCR and the #31 car in 2019.
Not a shocking departure considering Newman has been rumored to be headed to the Roush #6. RCR has also been strongly considering moving Daniel Hemric up to the Cup series as well.
Newman put out the following release on Twitter announcing his departure:
— Ryan Newman (@RyanJNewman) September 15, 2018
When you think about a stereotypical RCR driver Ryan Newman is the definition. A guy who will get you the finish the car deserves and maybe sneak a win out every once in a while. Over his 5 years at RCR Newman recorded one win at Phoenix in 2017 and a second place finish in the championship in 2014. Newman performed to the limit of his equipment, and that’s the most you can ask out of a driver.
The #31 seat joins the list of open seats on the silly season market. This isn’t the #41 in terms of competitiveness but RCR is still a top mid-pack team and the seat will be coveted by a number of drivers.
Who Replaces Ryan Newman?
For RCR only two drivers make sense for this seat. Caterpillar is back next season and the team has a number of sponsors so a funded driver isn’t necessarily needed.
Daniel Hemric: He’s the most talented driver under contract at RCR he just doesn’t have an Xfinity win yet but it’s not for a lack of talent. RCR’s Xfinity cars are just a tick off JGR and JRM at this point. Hemric has the talent to be the next Ryan Newman but potentially win more races.
Hemric has the talent, he’s older than most Xfinity regulars and brings a sense of maturity with him. He can likely also take South Point Casino up to Cup for a few races but again the #31 car has sponsors. RCR wants to keep Hemric in house but he has been strongly linked to Leavine Family Racing’s #95 next season as well as one of the two JTG Racing cars.
Ty Dillon: Richard Childress’ other grandson currently drives for Germain Racing’s #13 team who flat out stinks. Ty Dillon has the talent to run better than where the #13 car currently runs. However, the performance of the car is really really poor like most RCR affiliated teams.
Bringing Ty Dillon back to RCR makes the most sense for his career at this point. If not he’s going to waste away at Germain. And I’m not saying Ty Dillon is a championship contender but he can certainly get the same results as Newman in the #31.
The only hangup with this is does Richard want to put his grandson’s in his two cars? Nepotism runs deep in NASCAR but is betting the future of the company on two grandsons with a combined 10 Xfinity wins a smart move? TBD.
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