Call it NewmanWay! South Bend honors NASCAR's Racin' Ryan

Just call it NewmanWay!

St. Joseph County dedicated the strip of Lincolnway West past the Airport in honor of South Bend native and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman.

Newman was a part of the ceremony in South Bend on Wednesday, where Mayor Steve Luecke unveiled that all S.B. entrance signs will now display Newman's name and his Daytona 500 win.

Racin’ Ryan won NASCAR’s biggest event back in February. He calls it a tremendous honor that his name will now be shown throughout the city.

He joked that "NewmanWay" should have its speed limit raised to honor his fast driving. He said maybe it can go from 45 mph to 54 mph.

The South Bend LaSalle grad mentioned how he may have driven a little faster on that strip of road back when he was a teenager and was late getting to school.

Newman said he would have suggested changing the speed limit of the roundabout at the airport to 12 MPH in honor of his car number, but that would make little sense now that he will be changing cars and numbers next year.

Ryan announced on Monday he was leaving Penske Racing. He said Wednesday that the goals between him and Penske no longer matched up and it was time to move on.

He said he has two very strong options and two additional options beyond that but hasn’t made a decision yet.

"I have kidded everyone when I say it, but I don't have a 50/50 or a phone a friend," Newman explained.

"I have four choices and I hope I pick the best one."

Newman is not sure how long it will take for the final decision to be made.

"It will be a couple of weeks," he said. "I feel very confident that I will have a good ride. I just don't know if it's a ride I have to grow with and start out as a team or a defined winning team."

Newman has been heavily rumored to be joining Tony Stewart at the new Stewart Haas Racing as part of an all Hoosier team. That is likely who he was referring to in the team he would have to grow with.

As for the defined winning team, both Joe Gibbs and Richard Childress Racing fit that description.

Wednesday's dedication was the bright spot in an otherwise very tough day for Newman.

Earlier in the morning, he was a pallbearer for one of his closest friends' funerals. Bill Passwater, who graduated from LaSalle with Ryan and worked with Newman at Penske Racing, died last week at the age of 33.

Newman wore a special decal on his car to honor his fallen friend during last Saturday's race at Chicagoland.

Newman has this weekend off before competing in the All-State 400 at the Brickyard next week.

Wednesday's ceremony was kicked off with a very humorous moment as Mayor Luecke accidentally referred to Ryan as Randy twice before being corrected. Luecke realized he was thinking of the singer rather than the South Bend own racing son.

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