Ryan Newman finished second in the season finale, just behind Kevin Harvick.
Ryan Newman came incredibly close to shocking the stock car community and winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship tonight. It all came down to a three lap dogfight between Harvick and Newman, but it just wasn't meant to be
The driver of the No. 31 tried desperately to win it all, running alongside Harvick for a corner before filing in behind. On two tires and with an inferior car, he held his own but washed up the track as the white flag flew, robbing him of any last-second dive he had in mind.
I could have kept it wide open and washed up into him, but it wasn't the right move ... If we were close enough on the last lap, it might have been a different game
Newman on racing Harvick for championship
Despite seeing the trophy just barely escape him, Newman tried to remain positive. "Luke and the guys did an awesome job. We came back for the entire season to make our best finish our last finish. It is disappointing, don't get me wrong, but there's no point in being a sore loser. It's some motivation, some momentum for the off-season to get started for Daytona, and just look forward to the opportunity for next year."
After what he did to Kyle Larson last weekend, many wondered why he didn't do the same when it was all on the line here. He was alongside Harvick with less than three laps remaining, but raced him clean.
Not willing to wreck Harvick for title
"I just got down underneath him and he was close enough to me, took some of the air away from me. I could have kept it wide open and washed up into him, but it wasn't the right move. It wasn't what I would have wanted him to do to me."
"If we were close enough on the last lap, it might have been a different game, but I wasn't. I slipped off of Turn 4 coming to the white, and at that point it was pretty much over."
"I was thinking after I got out of the car, our tables really turned if you think about it when Gordon didn't win Phoenix because if he'd have won Phoenix, Harvick would have been out and we'd have been the top guy at the end of the race. I blame all this on Jeff Gordon. (Laughter)"
The new RCR pilot concluded, "We started the season in Daytona getting spun out in the last five laps to being the runner‑up for the championship. It was a good rebound for us."
Newman is officially scored as finishing the season second in points, a single point behind Harvick.