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Ryan Newman to replace Jeff Burton at Richard Childress Racing in 2014

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Monday, Sep. 09, 2013

Ryan Newman now officially has a new home for next season.

Richard Childress Racing on Monday announced Newman would drive its No. 31 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season.

Newman, 35, is a 17-time winner in the Cup series, including victories in the 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400. He has also won 50 poles.

“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,” said Newman, who will finish the season with Stewart-Haas Racing.

“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.”

The current No. 31 team, including crew chief Luke Lambert, will remain intact. Newman will replace the teams’ current driver Jeff Burton, who last week said he would not return in 2014.

“One important thing I sincerely want everyone to know is how much I respect and admire Jeff Burton as a person and driver,” Newman said. “He handled his recent announcement and situation with respect, class and dignity.”

Team owner Richard Childress said Newman would be “a great fit.”

“This is a great opportunity for our team,” he said. “I am very proud to have Ryan in our No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet starting next year.

“We have high expectations for this No. 31 team. Ryan has proven himself to be a great driver and I’m looking forward to winning races with him.”

NASCAR pulls race from The Rock

NASCAR announced on Monday that its NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event scheduled for Rockingham Speedway on Nov. 2 has been canceled.

The race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., on Oct. 18 now will serve as the season finale. The event is part of the 16th annual Petite Le Mans weekend for the American LeMans Series.

“It is unfortunate any time a race must be canceled,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring. “However, the race track failed to meet its obligations and we were forced to terminate the sanction agreement.”

Labonte to miss another week

Bobby Labonte will sit out this weekend’s race at Chicagoland Speedway as he continues to recover from broken ribs suffered in a cycling accident. A.J. Allmendinger will again drive JTG Daugherty’s No. 47 Toyota.

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