Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:59 pm
Newman Solid in Army Birthday Car; Finishes 6th in Michigan
Posted: 19 Jun 2011 06:46 PM PDT
BROOKLYN, Mich. – The numbers were all good for Ryan Newman following Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
Driving the No. 39 U.S. Army 236th Birthday Chevrolet honoring NASCAR Hall of Famer Bud Moore, Newman brought home a sixth-place finish at the two-mile oval. It was his second straight top-10 and seventh of the season.
But more inspiring for Newman, who calls MIS his home track, is that he snapped a top-10 jinx at the two-mile oval. Before Sunday’s sixth-place finish, he had a streak of 13 straight races at MIS without a top-10. His last top-10s at MIS were back-to-back victories in August 2003 and June 2004.
“It wasn’t a perfect day, but not a bad one either,” said Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind. “It was important to have a good performance for our Army Strong Soldiers on the week of the Army’s 236th birthday. Our U.S. Army Chevrolet was also paying tribute to NASCAR legend and American hero Bud Moore and I am happy that we did well since his name was on our car.”
Regarding his recent performances at MIS, Newman added, “I am not sure why we haven’t done well here lately, but hopefully today is the start of good things to come at Michigan. I love this place and love the natural beauty of the surrounding area.”
It was also a good day for Stewart-Haas Racing with Newman’s teammate and team owner Tony Stewart finishing seventh in his Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet.
Newman gained two spots in the driver point standings from 10th to eighth while Stewart lost two positions as he currently sits in 11th place. The oddity is that only two points separate Newman and Stewart.
Newman started the 200-lap, 400-mile race from the No. 13th position and ran inside the top-10 for the majority of the competition. On the final restart with five laps remaining, he was positioned in eighth place and picked off two additional spots before taking the checkered flag.
“After practice on Friday we really didn’t have much to look forward to but the guys did a good job of giving me a better U.S. Army Chevrolet and we fought back hard. We struggled on a couple of pit stops today and when we took two tires at the end the guys nailed it. I got some decent track position and was able to hold on. So a good finish for us that we typically don’t have at Michigan and I look forward to the road course next week.”
The race winner was Denny Hamlin. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Carl Edwards, Newman, Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin and Brian Vickers.
The Sprint Cup circuit heads to Sonoma, Calif. for next Sunday’s (June 26) road race at Infineon Raceway.