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3 May 2022
Indianapolis, IN Hot on the heels of Ryan Newman announcing that he will race in Tony Stewart’s SRX short track racing series this summer, race fans will be pleased to learn that Ryan Newman has confirmed his commitment to return to his native Indiana open wheel racing roots and run this year’s 74thAnnual Little 500 at Anderson Speedway on May 27th in a Sam Pierce Racing pavement sprint car. Newman will pilot the #39 Driven2SaveLives / AP Driver Development Beast chassis.
Ryan is perhaps best known through his storied 21-year NASCAR Cup career as garnering the nickname “Rocket Man” for his 51 pole positions and winning the 50th Daytona 500 in 2008, the 2013 Brickyard 400 and 16 other Cup victories beginning in 2002 when he bested Jimmie Johnson for Rookie of the Year honors. He raced for the best owners in the business including Penske, Stewart-Hass, Childress and Roush Fenway Racing.
Many open wheel fans better remember Newman for his dominance on Indiana pavement in the late 90s however, including his multiple midget car and sprint car wins from the tail of the field at Winchester Speedway to collect track owner Charlie Shaw’s bonus awards. Many will recall his hair-raising sprint car win at Winchester when his throttle stuck early in the race - forcing him to use the ignition switch lap after lap to navigate the infamous high banks. Ryan’s talent and bravado at Indiana pavement venues was truly legendary.
While the 44-year-old South Bend, IN legend will be challenged once again during the grueling 500 lap Anderson Speedway classic over the Memorial Day weekend, he will be in a familiar seat. The sprint car he will race in this year’s 500 is the same car that he ran in his last sprint car race, winning the 2000 Rich Vogler Classic prior to finding his next home at Penske Racing in NASCAR. The car was then known as the #2 Aristocrat Beast owned by the late Johnny Vance.
The iconic race car was acquired by Sam Pierce Racing in 2003 and has since propelled Aaron Pierce to nine Glenn Niebel Classic wins at Anderson in addition to two podium finishes, multiple front row starts and top ten conquests at the Little 500 in the #26 Sam Pierce Racing sprint car.
“AP” will be piloting a Sam Pierce Chevrolet / LSI V6 Chevy powered Beast for this year’s 500. While he has won in every type of race car he has driven in his 25-year career - including multiple championships, a Little 500 victory remains his holy grail.
For further 2022 Little 500 event information please visit SamPierceRacing.com and AndersonSpeedway.com.
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