The 2012 NASCAR season is over. The season, which began with Matt Kenseth taking the checkered flag in the Daytona 500, concluded a few weeks ago when Jeff Gordon visited Victory Lane after winning the Ford Eco-Boost 400. What does this mean for NASCAR fans? It means there is less than three months (83 days to be exact) until the 2013 season kicks off in Daytona.
Are you as excited as we are?
Within the last year, Quicken Loans sponsored Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Chevrolet in nine races. In October, QL announced its plans to become Newman’s primary sponsor in 2013 for 18 races. Along the way, Newman recorded six top-five finishes, including a win at Martinsville Speedway in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500. However, the high finishes weren’t enough to earn Newman a spot in the NASCAR Chase for the Cup. He finished the season 14th in points.
“The goal is to race for a championship,” Newman told me before his third-place showing at the season’s final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “There’s no big-picture racing because we aren’t racing for a championship.”
Before Newman begins preparing for the 2013 season, he was excited to spend what little time he has off with his family.
“I’m looking forward to enjoying some time at home and relaxing,” Newman said. “I’m going to do a little bit of hunting and we also have to go pick out a Christmas tree when we get some time.”
This offseason will be a little different for Newman, who along with his wife Krissie, welcomed their second daughter to the family. Ashlyn Olivia Newman was born July 16. Ashlyn’s big sister Brooklyn celebrated her second birthday the night before the final race of the season.
“I don’t think there’s really a recipe for how to raise two daughters,” Newman said. “You just kind of have to experience it and learn as you go.”
Newman, who enjoys being outdoors, isn’t sure how much time he’ll have to enjoy his hobbies with the new family addition. He does, however, plan to go on a snowmobiling trip in Utah.
“My responsibilities have changed since my youngest daughter was born,” Newman said. “It hasn’t changed me or who I am. I’ll still have time to do things I enjoy. It’s just a matter of choosing my time a little more wisely.”
While now is supposed to be the time for Newman to get away from the sport, he said it’s always on his mind.
“We don’t have much of an offseason,” he said. “It’s kind of tough to get away from the sport because there’s so little time. It’s always on the back of my mind. You shouldn’t think about it all the time, though. That’s why it’s the offseason.”
What will you remember most about the 2012 NASCAR season? How do you think Newman will do in 2013? Let us know in the comments section below!