Ryan Newman’s championship hopes took a big hit Sunday afternoon when he was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time in the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The accident left Newman’s Code 3 Associates Chevrolet SS with a 35th-place finish, and it dropped him from seventh to 12th in the Sprint Cup championship standings.
Newman was running in the top-20 when he was the victim of another car’s incident. Newman’s No. 39 Code 3 Associates Chevrolet was collected when the No. 51 of Justin Allgaier shot down across the racetrack after hitting the outside SAFER Barrier in turn two. The contact caused extensive right-side and rear-end damage to Newman’s machine.
Despite the heavy damage, Newman was able to drive his car to pit road, where the team attempted to make repairs over a series of pit stops. The crew hoped to be able to fix the damage without falling off the lead lap, but the necessary repair work turned out to be too extensive. Newman told his team he had to go to the garage because the right rear of the car was a “handful.”
In the garage, the crew worked furiously to fix the rear suspension of the racecar, as well as repair and replace heavily damaged sheet metal. After a lengthy stay in the garage, Newman returned to the racetrack on lap 185. However, just a lap later, Newman reported that his car still wasn’t drivable, so he returned to the garage for additional repair work.
The crew replaced the rear suspension and fixed the right-side tow of the car before sending Newman back on track on lap 224. Newman finished the race in 35th place, 79 laps down to the leaders.
Newman’s SHR teammates – Mark Martin, interim driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, and Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS – finished 22nd and 43rd, respectively. Patrick was involved in an accident on the first lap. Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 13 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 30th.
Kevin Harvick won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Kansas.
Kurt Busch finished 1.14 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot while Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There was a track-record 15 caution periods for 71 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.
Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the fourth race of the 10-race Chase seventh among the 13 Chase drivers, 48 points behind Chase leader Matt Kenseth. Newman leaves Kansas in 12th, 73 points behind Kenseth.