NASCAR drivers AJ Allmendinger and Danica Patrick talk in the garages at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Friday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
LOUDON --- Ryan Newman is looking for a new Sprint Cup ride.
Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Hass Racing made it official in a press conference at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon: Harvick is joining Tony Stewart and his race team for the 2014 season and he’s bringing his Budweiser sponsorship along with him.
Harvick joins Stewart and Danica Patrick on the three-driver team, which leaves Newman as the odd driver out.
“No, we are not ready to expand to a fourth team,” Stewart said. “Unfortunately, this will be the last year that we have Ryan with us. That’s probably what has made this a bittersweet day. I’m bringing in another one of my friends to the organization, but also knowing that I’m losing a friend at the end of the year.”
Newman said he got word of his fate in a phone call from Stewart on Wednesday and that at this point he does not know what the future holds. Word had been out for a while that Harvick was coming to the team, but it had been unclear what effect that would have on the team overall.
“I’ve had a good run and I’m looking forward to finishing out this year,” Newman said. “I do not know what my future is. I have no idea. I have my homework to do ... There will be a change for me in 2014. I don’t know what that change is.”
Harvick has a pair of wins and stands fourth in the point standings heading into Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301.
Stewart is 10th in points and has a win, Newman is 16th and 11 points out of 11th place, and Patrick, in her first full-time Cup season, is 25th.
Harvick has been driving Cup cars for Richard Childress Racing since 2001. He moved into the ride after Dale Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500 that year.
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NASCAR Nationwide series driver Parker Kligerman will be racing for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth and David’s House today in the CNBC Prime’s “The Profit” 200 today.
His sponsor, North American Power, will donate $1,000 for every lap Kligerman leads in the race, up to $10,000, to the Speedway’s Children’s Charities with the money directed to CHaD.
Kligerman, who is in his first fulltime Nationwide season, sits eighth in the points standings going into today’s race. He will be signing autographs at the North American Power booth on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.
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JIMMY BLEWETT qualified first for today’s Town Fair Tire Whelen Modified Tour 100 and Ted Christopher starts beside him. Andy Seuss of Hampstead starts sixth and Newman, who has become a regular in this race, is 20th ... The Modified race starts at 1 ... Regan Smith was fastest around the oval in the final Nationwide practice on Friday afternoon with a quick lap of 129.860 miles per hour. Sam Hornish Jr. was second and Kligerman was third.