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CHILI BOWL ON TAP FOR NEWMAN

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Ryan Newman

Ryan Newman

CHILI BOWL ON TAP FOR NEWMAN

Ryan Newman

While the NASCAR offseason is a short one, Ryan Newman has made the most of it. The NASCAR veteran made his return to dirt racing back in December and has another major event on the horizon.

It had been nearly two decades since Newman – the 42-year-old veteran – had gotten behind the wheel of a dirt midget. That changed when he accepted an invitation to the Gateway Dirt Nationals in St. Louis.

Thanks to a backing from longtime partner Coca-Cola, Newman was able to knock the dust off at the 1/5-mile oval, and even entered the indoor dome in style with a wheelie in the opening laps, which to him was all a part of the fun in racing the event.

“We weren’t as strong as we wanted to be, but it was a lot of fun to get back into a midget car on dirt, something I haven’t done in a very long time,” Newman said. “These offseason events aren’t something I’ve always done, so I’m appreciative of everyone who helped put it together so we could help put on a good show for the fans up there.”

Now, with the dust knocked off, the 1999 USAC Silver Crown Champion has his sights set on the 2020 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, which start up this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The South Bend, Indiana, native will compete for the Clauson-Marshall Team, which he owns a piece of, as one of 350-plus entries for the 34th annual Chili Bowl.

“I’m excited to try my hand at the famed Chili Bowl and see if we can make some noise next week,” Newman said. “I’ve obviously had a relationship with that team (Clauson-Marshall) for a few years now and we’ve put together a strong, five-car lineup. No matter what happens, I’m thrilled for the opportunity and know it will be a fun week in something a little different than what we’re used to during the NASCAR season.”

Newman was also the 1993 UMARA All-American Midget Series Champion, becoming the first driver to win both Rookie of the Year honors and the series championship in the same season. He also claimed the Michigan State Midget championship that same year and was inducted into the Quarter Midget Hall of Fame.

Practice for the Chili Bowl kicks off Monday, January 13, with qualifying sessions set to begin later that evening. www.RacinBoys.com will provide a PPV online stream beginning Tuesday through Saturday, before MAVTV Motorsports Network (MAVTV) picks up feature coverage Saturday night. For more information on schedules, entry lists and formats, visit www.chilibowl.com.

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