Atlanta II: Ryan Newman race report

Newman Fights Back to Finish 8th in Atlanta ATLANTA (Sept. 5, 2010) -- Ryan Newman bounced back twice from adversity to post an eighth-place finish in Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We're not going down...

Newman Fights Back to Finish 8th in Atlanta

ATLANTA (Sept. 5, 2010) -- Ryan Newman bounced back twice from adversity to post an eighth-place finish in Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"We're not going down without a fight," said Newman, who notched his second straight top-10 finish. "It appeared we were doomed a couple of times out there, but we never gave up in our U.S. Army Reserve Chevrolet. We kept our poise and fought back just as our Soldiers do every day. The last 50 laps were some of the best racing I've ever seen here at Atlanta."

Newman's teammate and team owner, Tony Stewart, won the race -- his first victory of the season and 38th of his career. Stewart is fourth in the driver point standings.

"Congratulations to Tony and his group for a great run," stated Newman in post-event interviews.

Regarding the point standings for Newman it was both good news and bad news. He jumped two spots -- from 15th to 13th -- but only gained one point on Clint Bowyer, who holds the 12th and final Chase position. With one race remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins, Newman trails Bowyer by 117 points.

When told he still has a mathematical chance of making the Chase, Newman smiled and said, "Mathematically, we have a chance and for an engineering guy I guess that means something. But I can only try my hardest and I did that tonight. We can't expect to make it all up in one shot."

Expectations were high for Newman going into the Emory Healthcare 500. He qualified on the outside pole and posted some of the fastest speeds during Saturday's practice sessions.

After leading nine laps early, Newman encountered his first problem on Lap 152 of 325 when his right-front fender got crunched during a three-car incident in Turn 3 of the 1.54-mile oval. The damage resulted in Newman making three unscheduled pit stops to allow the Army crew to make the necessary repairs.

Newman fell back in track position, but following a restart on Lap 205 his Army Reserve Chevy picked up the pace and was running in the top 15.

As the race was winding down, Newman's slick driving powered the No. 39 Army Reserve machine into the top five and it appeared he was going to finish fourth. But with a couple of laps remaining, Newman did all he could to save his car from crashing into the wall after being hit from behind by Kasey Kahne.

"That was one great driving job by Ryan," said No. 39 crew chief Tony Gibson. "If the car goes into the wall we don't finish in the top 10, we finish at the rear of the field."

Newman was obviously not pleased with what turned out to be a retaliatory hit by Kahne due to an earlier incident.

"Yeah, the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) hit me the same time I hit the No. 9 (Kahne) -- it was within a millisecond," explained Newman. "I was trying to push him to get ahead of the No. 2 car (Kurt Busch) and it didn't work out. We've seen this several times this year, and it was me trying to help him out. It causes accidents once in a while. It hurt him but in the grand scheme of things he tried to hurt me and it didn't hurt us as bad. So, we'll just go on."

The top-five finishers were: Stewart, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton and Kyle Busch.

The next stop for the Army team and the Sprint Cup circuit is Saturday night (Sept. 11) at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

-source: shr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch