Stewart-Haas Racing press release
Newman Earns Solid Top-10 Finish in SoCal
Driver of No. 39 U.S. Army ROTC Chevy Swipes Seventh at Fontana
Behind the wheel of the No. 39 U.S. Army ROTC Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), Ryan Newman claimed a seventh-place finish in the rain-shortened Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. It was his seventh top-10 finish in 18 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2-mile oval.
“We were a little inconsistent today, going from tight to loose to tight again,” Newman said. “Even though we were capable of more, we’ll take a top-10 out of it. We worked hard all day long, just like our Army Strong Soldiers do each day. As always, we were honored to represent the million Soldiers who are stationed around the world.”
Following the green flag, Newman swiftly moved from sixth to fourth by lap five and ran third from lap six to 10. But handling became an issue, and Newman was forced to ride between the seventh and ninth spots leading up to the only caution of the race, due to rain at lap 125.
“We certainly made adjustments each time we pitted, but it seemed we just couldn’t get things the way we needed to,” Newman said. “That’s the way it goes sometimes. It was definitely not for a lack of effort.”
Newman and crew chief Tony Gibson opted to stay out during the caution period, and it proved to be the proper gamble as the Army team gained two positions in the final results when NASCAR unfurled the red flag after 129 of 200 scheduled laps due to heavier rain.
Newman’s teammate, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala, secured his second win of the season after NASCAR officials ended the race shortly thereafter.
“Like I said, we’ll take this and move on to Martinsville (Va.) next weekend,” Newman said. “Congratulations are definitely in order for Tony Stewart and his team – they did a great job.”
Finishing behind Stewart was Kyle Busch in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Greg Biffle, Newman, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson comprised the remainder of the top-10. Seven drivers failed to finish.
With round five of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is fourth with 177 points, 18 behind series leader Biffle. Newman is 10th with 155 points, 40 out of first.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, April 1 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 12:30 p.m.