Points Finish 17th, 0 Wins, 0 Top Fives, 9 Top Ten, 24 Top Twenties, 17.3 Average Finish, 16.4 Average Running Position, 57 Laps Led, 74.03 Driver Rating
Ryan Newman is a solid steady driver across many different track types. He isn’t flashy anywhere (0 top fives last year), but he’s consistent and that’s where his primary strength resides. On most track types you can count on him to come home with a respectable finish.
In 2019 I would look for Newman to be at his best at plate tracks and flat tracks.
Intermediate tracks which comprise much of the schedule aren’t venues where I would recommending picking Ryan Newman in 2019. There’s better mid-tier options out there and now that he’s heading to a less competitive situation I would play the “wait and see” game until he gets a few races under his belt.
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – B-
At intermediate tracks in 2019 I would look for Ryan Newman to typically be a mid to high-teens driver. I think his new ride (Roush Fenway #6) will likely prove to be slightly less competitive than his former ride (RCR #31). Matt Kenseth didn’t run well in the #6 until his final farewell, and Trevor Bayne consistently struggled. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., his new teammate was OK on this track type, but he was a driver who was typically around mid-teens good.
I don’t think the new rules package will have much of an impact on Newman at intermediate tracks. If anything I think it might be a negative for him. He’s an old stubborn driver who’s been around full-time since 2002 and he’s probably stuck in his ways. Driving on this track type in 2019 will be a lot different and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s more resistant to change than most.
Last year at intermediate tracks, Newman scored the 20th most points. In 2017 he scored the 19th most points. In the four prior seasons he scored the 11th, 7th, 7th and 12th most points so its clear things aren’t trending in the right direction. In 9 of the last 10 races held on this track in 2018 Newman finished between 15th to 22nd.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – B
Flat tracks have been an area of strength for Ryan Newman. He’s proven to be a capable performer at both the bigger and the smaller flat tracks.
In his new ride I think he might lose some of his edge at these venues because I think RCR fields better equipment than Roush Fenway Racing on this track type.
Last year at flat tracks minus his two misleading results (spring Richmond race and spring Pocono race) he had a 10.2 average finish and a 13.7 average running position.
In 2018 at big flat tracks he finished in the top 10 in 2 of the 3 races. He finished a misleading 25th in the spring Pocono race (was in 11th with 10 laps to go but had contact), in the next two races at big flat tracks he finished 8th (Pocono #2) and 10th (Indy). At both tracks he’s been good over the years. At Indy since 2011 minus a 2016 accident he’s finished in the top 12 every race. At Pocono since 2016 minus the race last spring all of his results have been between 8th to 14th. In 2019 at the big flat tracks I would look for him to likely be a low-double digits to mid-teens driver. I would lean more towards the mid-teens though.
Shorter flat tracks have been good tracks for Newman. Last season at these venues minus the spring Richmond race where he wrecked he had a 10.8 average finish. At all three shorter flat tracks he’s capable of running well and in 2019 at these venues I would look for him to be a low-double digits to mid-teens driver. I’ll note I wouldn’t be surprised if he sneaks in a top ten or two.
Short Track Fantasy Value – B
Ryan Newman is a quality option at short tracks. Last year at these venues minus Richmond #1 where he wrecked he had a 12.8 average finish and a 14.2 average running position. I will note that in 2019 I think his equipment will likely hinder him at Martinsville and Richmond. At Bristol I don’t think things will change too much.
Bristol has recently been his best short track. Last year he had results of 10th and 12th. In 8 of the last 9 races at that venue he’s finished in the top 14.
At Martinsville he’s been a steady performer. He finished 8th last fall and in the spring he was uncharacteristically uncompetitive and finished 3 laps down in 19th. In the 5 races prior to that he had an 11th place average finish.
At Richmond, he finished 15th last fall and in the spring he crashed. In 2017 he swept the top ten and had results of 3rd and 7th.
Plate Track Fantasy Value – B+
Ryan Newman shouldn’t be overlooked at plate tracks. In 5 of the last 8 races on this track type he’s finished in the top ten. Last season at these venues he finished in the top ten in 3 of the 4 races and had a 12.5 average finish. In 2019 on this track type I think he might find himself in a more competitive situation. On this track type, Newman is notorious for riding around near the back until the end. In 2019 on this track type as long as he avoids trouble I think he’ll have a chance to compete for a top ten in every event.
Daytona has been a good track for Newman and last year he had a pair of 8th place results. Currently his top ten streak is 3. In 5 of the last 7 Daytona races he’s finished in the top 11.
At Talladega, Newman finished 25th last fall. In the two races prior to that he had results of 9th and 2nd.
Road Course Fantasy Value – B
Ryan Newman is a quality road course racer. He’s been a a little off the last two seasons, but don’t let that scare you away.
Last year on this track type he scored the 18th most points, in 2017 he scored the 25th most points. In 4 of the 5 prior seasons he scored between the 9th to 11th most points.
Sonoma has been his best road course. Last year finished 24th. In the five prior seasons he finished between 8th to 15th.
At Watkins Glen his performance level hasn’t been as high. He finished 19th last year and over the last four races his average finish is 18.75.
In 2018 at Charlotte he had his best road course result of the year and finished 11th.
In 2019 I would look for him to likely be a mid to high-teens driver at road courses.