Ryan Newman heading to the Chase for the Championship - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Ryan Newman heading to the Chase for the Championship

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Courtesy www.rcracing.com Courtesy www.rcracing.com

NASCAR has handed down severe penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing that allow South Bend native Ryan Newman to replace Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase for the championship.

The punishment is a result of MWR teammate Clint Bowyer intentionally spinning with seven laps remaining, causing a caution that led to Newman dropping from first to third in Saturday's race at Richmond.

Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000, general manager Ty Norris was suspended indefinitely and Truex, Bowyer and Brian Vickers were docked 50 points, dropping Truex to 17th in the Sprint Cup standings.

Newman will drive the No. 31 Chevy for Richard Childress Racing in 2014, sources have told FOXSports.com. 

Newman has 17 career NASCAR Sprint Cup wins, including victories in the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. With 50 poles, Newman ranks third among current drivers behind Jeff Gordon (73) and Mark Martin (56).

"This is a great opportunity for our team," Richard Childress said in a release Monday. "I am very proud to have Ryan in our No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet starting next year. We have high expectations for this No. 31 team. Ryan has proven himself to be a great driver and I'm looking forward to winning races with him.

"Luke Lambert will be his crew chief, and the team is staying together next year. That team is building momentum to not only finish out this year strong, but to get even better in 2014."

The 35-year-old made his NASCAR Cup debut at the end of the 2000 season for Penske Racing while finishing his engineering degree at Purdue University.

"I'm very pleased Richard and I were able to put this deal together for me to drive RCR's No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet," 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. RCR has a long history of winning races and championships, and I want to add to that tradition."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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