Ryan Newman has been confirmed as the new driver of the #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for 2014, after last week's news that Jeff Burton is to leave the team a year early at the end of the current season.
Newman was recently let go by Stewart-Haas Racing, ironically in order to make way for the arrival of Kevin Harvick, another driver leaving the RCR stable at the end of 2013.
the winner of this year's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Newman was in with a chance of making this year's Chase play-offs for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship but narrowly lost out at the end of last weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway.
From Burton's tenure in the car, Newman will inherit crew chief Luke Lambert and other personnel, along with title sponsorship backing from machinery and engines manufacturer Caterpillar. Announcements on sponsors in addition to Caterpillar will be made at a later date.
"This is a great opportunity for our team," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "I am very proud to have Ryan in our #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet starting next year.
"We have high expectations for this #31 team," he added. "Ryan has proven himself to be a great driver and I'm looking forward to winning races with him."
Newman was delighted to have his immediate future once more confirmed, after weeks of uncertainty having been told he had lost his seat in the #39 SHR car on account of the team not being ready to expand to a four-car line-up in 2014 - only to see them an announce plans to do just that after hiring Kurt Busch.
"I'm very pleased Richard and I were able to put this deal together for me to drive RCR's #31," Newman said. "About five years ago, Richard and I talked about me joining RCR before I signed with my current team, but things just didn't work out.
"However, we were able to make it happen this time and I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my career," he continued. "RCR has a long history of winning races and championships, and I want to add to that tradition."