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NASCAR Cup: return at Darlington includes Newman, Kenseth

AVONDALE, AZ – NOVEMBER 12: Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Circle K Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12, 2017 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)


When the NASCAR Cup Series returns to action Sunday afternoon at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway for the The Real Heroes 400, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth also will return to the series. Newman returns after his recovery from a head injury sustained in a last-lap crash in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February, and Kenseth as the replacement for Kyle Larson at Chip Ganassi Racing.

Newman suffered brain bruising in a multi-car crash at Daytona but spent fewer than 48 hours at Halifax Medical Center. He missed three races before the 2020 NASCAR schedule was suspended in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 Cup Series season is his second behind the wheel of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Ross Chastain filled-in for Newman in West Coast Swing races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.

“I’m hoping to do every lap and then one more after that. I think they are having a victory lap still,” Newman said.

The Darlington race will be Kenseth’s first race since 2018 when he drove the No. 6 part-time for RFR, so he starts the 2020 season five races into the 36-race scheduled. He last raced full-time in the Cup Series in 2017 for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth had raced full-time in the series since 2000, claiming series Rookie of the Year in 2000 and the Cup Series championship in 2003. He is slated to drive the No. 42 CGR Chevrolet full-time for the remainder of 2020 as a result of Larson’s firing for using a racial slur during an iRacing World of Outlaws race.

“Right now, I’m not really looking too far beyond Sunday, to be totally honest with you,” Kenseth said. “Certainly, the learning curve is going to be steep. I know being out of the car that long, starting with a different team and piling on top of not being able to practice for the foreseeable future, or testing and anything like that, is going to be very challenging. But I’m really excited. I have to admit, I’m just as excited as I’ve been to go racing in many, many years, so I’m really looking forward to getting to the track. I really like this group of guys. The cars look nice; the Camaro looks like they’re really fast, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity. I just know that it’s going to be a big challenge. I’m going to have to work hard and do my best to try and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Both Newman and Kenseth have received waivers from NASCAR, allowing them to compete for the 2020 championship, despite not contesting all 36 races.

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Posted by on May 17, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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