When it comes to a day off, most NASCAR drivers will tell you there is no such thing.
Ryan Newman is one of them.
It is not uncommon for Newman to enter the Richard Childress Racing race shop wearing Cat work boots stained with the remnants of cow manure and Carolina red clay, signifying where and when his work day really started.
Back home in Statesville, North Carolina, his so-called day off begins with taking his two daughters to school. The remainder of his “free” time is spent working his 208-acre farm located a few miles down from his house and Rescue Ranch, the nonprofit animal welfare organization he opened with his wife Krissie.
His desire to own a farm stemmed from his childhood in South Bend, Indiana, where his family raised beef owning steers and Holsteins.
FARM WITH A PURPOSE
“I’ve always loved the outdoors and animals. When I was a kid we raised our own beef. I fed cows. I would get home from school and go see the cows and make sure they had food and water. I guess I grew up with it more than I thought. My whole purpose of having this farm is it’s more than a hobby. It’s a legitimate business. I started it back in 2005. I have a bunch of barns I moved down from Ohio. I began by adding two buildings and then two more buildings. I started tinkering at it first and then I started the business.
“It’s what I do to get away from the racetrack. I find it a good release and I like being my own boss. I do have one other person helping me with it. I have some Angus cows and buffalo. I take the cows to auction. I sell them. I raise my own hay. I cut the grass. I do just a little bit of everything. I’m not the first guy in racing to have a farm. Quite a few prominent people like Richard Childress, Junior Johnson and Dale Earnhardt have enjoyed farming.”
“I wouldn’t say being out here is totally relaxing for me, nor is it work, because I’m not getting paid for it. It’s kind of relaxing and half, fundamentally working.”
GOT A CAT
“Every week I put out 13 bales of hay and it’s made easy using my Caterpillar compact track loader. I use it for a bunch of chores around the farm.”
“I don’t really ever see myself expanding my farm until I have more time that I can work on it or feel free to go do something else. Basically, I have enough to keep track of and take care of. I have 13 buffalo and 40 head of Black Angus. One of my favorite things to do with my daughters is to feed the buffalo and Black Angus apples. They know when they see me coming with a bucket, they’re getting a treat.”
“I always thought it would be cool to have reindeer. I mean, who doesn’t want to have reindeer? If you had reindeer, it would be cool, but it’s not really easy to bring or move them around to Statesville, North Carolina.”