Anyone who ever doubted the talent of a NASCAR driver needed only to observe Ryan Newman during Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aarons 499. After starting the day in 15th, by lap 8 Newman was being pushed by Denny Hamlin inside the top 10. Two laps later he found himself in the lead and although he was passed shortly after Newman made the statement that he would be a contender.
By lap 78 Newman found himself in third. From there he flirted with the lead until the halfway point.
Newman’s problems started on lap 171. While running among the lead pack between turns three and four, he tangled with several others. Newman’s Chevy shot down and turned towards the apron, but he was able to make an amazing save. The green flag stayed out and Newman continued.
“The No. 11 (Hamlin) and I were just biding our time and we decided to go and I got loose and it’s just the way it works,” Newman said. “I just got loose underneath the No. 33 (Clint Bowyer) and whoever hit me straightened me out. That helped.”
It wasn’t the last save he would make however.
Just three laps later, Newman again spun this time on the backstretch. He was still able to avoid hitting anything. The yellow flag waved but with four flat tires, Newman was forced to limp his Chevy to the pits and out of contention. Newman was grateful however that he was able to drive away at all. In 2009 Newman took wild ride not far from the same spot. His Chevy tumbled end over end and rescue crews were forced to cut him from the car. Advertisement
“I got three Hail Mary’s when that thing turned around on the backstretch before it got all the way backyards,” Newman said. “I was just hoping it was going to stay on the ground. I remember being farther on the straightaway and it not staying on the ground. Hopefully with the combination of the restrictor plate and spoiler versus wing, we’ve done some good things with these race cars.”
In the end he was scored 25th, but on the lead lap.
“The first was pretty big; the second one was really big,” Newman said. “Just luck. You kind of need to know what to do, but a lot of it is just luck. If the wall on the backstretch was 6 feet closer than we would have hit it so a lot of it is just luck. I am proud of the guys because it wasn’t the finish we wanted or deserved but we survived it and its better than we were last year so just happy with the speed of the car and the performance of the guys and everything else was just wrong place at the wrong time.”
i think the fact he made the top 25 is a success, like harvick " even to be running at the end of the day, is a good day." ryan ran good all day, there again a success, so it may not have been top 5 or a win, still a lot of positives in the day.