Newman Says Reports Are Wrong, No Deal Has Been Made … Yet
For the second time in just a week, ESPN.com has made a report on a premier driver’s plans for 2009 only to have NASCAR.com turn around the following day to refute those reports. Last week it was the reports suggesting that Martin Truex Jr. and DEI had come to terms on a two-year contract extension, which Truex very adamently refuted, stating that the report (David Newton) knowingly falsified his statements. That very same reporter then followed that story up with another, this time landing Ryan Newman in the seat of the no. 4 car for Stewart-Haas Racing next year with what he dubbed as a “verbal agreement.”
Early Friday afternoon at Pocono Raceway - site of this weekend’s Sprint Cup race - Ryan addressed the media by stating, “I am still working on my 2009 plans at this time. I have no timetable on finalizing anything at this point.”
Ryan’s wife, Krissie Newman, also attempted to clear the air in blog she posted this week, which stated, “Don’t get too excited just yet. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet! There have been some recent articles posted that reporters have put out that sound factual. However, Ryan has not verbally agreed to anything and is still working on his 2009 and future plans. It is funny how much speculation has been going on about Ryan’s future. Everyone will know when the deal is signed. … Sorry to disappoint, just don’t want anyone to jump to conclusions.”
Newman did state last weekend at Indianapolis, however, that he had more or less narrowed his search down to one team, and Joe Gibbs Racing took their name off that table with a statement they issued that declared they were unsuccessful in locking on the necessary sponsorship for both Newman and a potential fourth car. That would leave Richard Childress Racing as the only major player left for Newman’s services other than Stewart-Haas.
Joe Custer and Mike Arning - both representing Stewart Haas Racing on the matter - reitterated Newman’s sentiments that no deal had been finalized between them and that Stewart-Haas was still in the midst of their search for the driver of the no. 4 car next season. Scott Riggs, the current driver of that car - which is currently numbered 66 - was also available for comment, though, stating that he was 99.9999% sure that it wouldn’t be him.