Ryan Newman has been a fan of the great outdoors for as long as he can remember. From late-night campfires to pre-dawn fishing trips with his grandfather, Ryan spent his childhood exploring the natural world around him. Today, when Ryan's not behind the wheel of his No. 39 US Army Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he can often be found fishing on his lake at home or at lakes and rivers near tracks across the country.
"I've met a lot of NASCAR fans who are avid outdoorsman like me, and they know how important it is to protect the beautiful land and water that we enjoy today so our grandchildren can enjoy it in the future."
– Ryan Newman
In 2006, the Ryan Newman Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to Trout Unlimited whose mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. The foundation also worked with the conservation organization to develop programs that enable individuals to help protect rivers, lakes and streams.
Lap one is the restoration of Mill Lake Youth Camp in the Waterloo Recreation Area in Michigan. Racing For Wildlife's first project is a collaboration with Michigan International Speedway, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs to restore Mill Lake Youth Camp. The historic camp, built in the 1930s, is approximately 30 miles north of MIS in the 20,000-acre Waterloo Recreation Area. The camp is located on a scenic lake that offers excellent recreation and fishing. This restoration project will reopen the camp to families as a year-round facility that can accommodate more than 140 people.
"When we talked about where to launch Racing For Wildlife, we naturally thought about partnering with Michigan International Speedway," Newman says. "A couple years ago MIS President Roger Curtis and I talked about our shared interest in conservation, and the track has been a generous supporter of the Ryan Newman Foundation in the past. Plus, I grew up just a few hours away from this area, so this first campaign really hits close to home for me."
Lap two was kicked off by Ryan Newman and NASCAR legend Bobby Allison at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25, 2008. The project will protect prime land for hiking, camping and recreation, just a short drive from the racetrack, in the Talladega National Forest.