Rescue Ranch is labor of love for Sprint Cup driver and his wife

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - On the track, Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman is all about speed.

Catch him on his farm, near Statesville, and he's operating at a much slower pace.

"I enjoy my off-season here," Newman told us when we visited.

His appreciation for animals, both wildlife and domestic pets, started when he was young. That's why he's completely on board with his wife Krissie's plan for another huge piece of property just up the road from his farm. They call it Rescue Ranch.  It is the focus of the Ryan Newman Foundation.

"I have a beautiful wife with a passion and a dream and I'm right there with her," Newman said.

The property itself is 172 acres. Right now one building sits on the land and there is plenty of room for expansion. Rescue Ranch is a non-profit animal welfare organization.

"I think kids have a better compassion level when they're raised around animals," Krissie Newman said.

"We want to get remote controls out of their hands and give them an understanding of the outdoors and wildlife and domestic pets," her husband added.

Rabbits, turtles, lizards and birds make up the family of resident animals who will spend the rest of their lives on the ranch helping to educate children and families.

School groups can visit, other organizations can hold their meetings on-site. Down the road, plans include an adoption shelter, a boarding facility, and miles of walking and riding trails.

Currently the existing building is open to the public so people can see for themselves what the Newman family wants to bring to the community.

They plan to start a capital campaign this year and they are always looking for volunteers.

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