SNewman Finishes 12th in Sprint Cup Finale;
Stewart Wins Race, Captures Season Championship in Tiebreaker
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2011) -- Ryan Newman posted a 12th-place finish in Sunday's Sprint Cup season finale, which was red-flagged twice for rain at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
While Newman ran a steady and solid race in his No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, all eyes were on his teammate and U.S. Army team owner Tony Stewart, who won the event and captured the Sprint Cup season championship in his No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet.
Stewart and race runner-up Carl Edwards tied in final points (2403), but with five wins in the 10 Chase playoff races, the tiebreaker went to Stewart. The championship was the third for Stewart, who also won season titles in 2002 and 2005.
Newman finished 10th in points, his sixth career top-10 season points finish.
As soon as Newman exited his black and gold Army race car, he headed to Victory Lane to congratulate Stewart and the No. 14 team.
"An incredible performance by Tony and the No.14 team," said Newman. "They fought hard and deserved the title. It’s kind of bittersweet when it’s not you, but it's awesome when it's your teammate. The championship is a morale builder for the entire Stewart-Haas Racing organization."
Regarding the 267-lap, 400-mile race, Newman quickly marched to the front after starting 14th. He ran as high as second and virtually ran the entire race in or near the top-10.
"We wanted to be up there contending for the win, but things didn't quite click for us at the end," stated Newman. "Our Army Chevrolet was strong, but we couldn't get the track position to make a move as the race was winding down.
"Overall we had a good season, but the downside was that we didn't perform as well as we anticipated in the Chase," explained Newman. "We wanted better results for our Army Strong Soldiers, who inspire this team week in and week out. Driving an Army-sponsored car is a privilege and we're going to do everything we can to make our Soldiers even more proud of their car in 2012.
Following Stewart and Edwards to the checkered flag were: Martin Truex Jr. (third), Matt Kenseth (fourth) and Jeff Gordon (fifth).
The 2012 season kicks off Sunday, Feb. 26 with the traditional Daytona 500, NASCAR's most prestigious race.