Newman sad to see Army march away

Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 ARMY ROTC Chevrolet, stands by his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

LOUDON, N.H. — In a contract year, with Stewart-Haas Racing trying to find sponsorship for his No. 39 Chevrolet, Ryan Newman got some bad news earlier this week when the U.S. Army announced that it was ending its participation as a NASCAR sponsor.

U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) of the U.S. House of Representatives has led a crusade — joined by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) in authoring an amendment to the pending Department of Defense authorization bill — to end military sponsorships of sports events and properties.

Before the measure came to a vote, the Army announced it was ending its NASCAR sponsorship. Newman conceded that the Army may have tired of fighting the public relations battle.

“From what I’ve heard and what I’ve read, there were some true politics involved,” Newman told the NASCAR Wire Service. “I’ve always been very proud to represent the Army. I learned a lot about the soldiers. I learned a lot about their education programs that we do to recruit and the recruiting process. I hope, whatever they do, it’s going to be good for the Army, it’s going to be good for the USA to recruit and educate and improve the quality of our soldiers.

“Their decision is their decision, and it’s unfortunate for us. I was a proud representative of the name and the people and the colors and everything else. It seems that time has come and passed, and like I said, I wish them the best, but we are here to win for them this weekend (in Army colors at New Hampshire), and we’ll do that each and every other time before the end of the season.”

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