Ryan Newman Scores Top-15 Finish at "Monster Mile" Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Penske Racing Alltel Dodge team ran solidly in the top 10 for most of the day on Sunday in the Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway, including taking the ...
Ryan Newman Scores Top-15 Finish at "Monster Mile"
Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Penske Racing Alltel Dodge team ran solidly in the top 10 for most of the day on Sunday in the Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway, including taking the race lead for six laps. However, late in the race a problem with a fuel system bracket, which made it difficult to fuel the car on a green flag pit stop, dropped Newman to a 14th-place finish.
Newman is currently 14th in the NASCAR Cup point standings, 29 points shy of the 12th-place cutoff for the NASCAR Chase for the Cup.
"The Alltel Dodge was ok today," said Newman. "We got in the top 10 and we were able to stay there for most of the day - we even led a few laps. But we had a problem with a fuel system bracket. We ended up having to pit under green to fix it since there weren't any cautions, and that cost us our top 10 finish."
Newman qualified 11th for the Best Buy 400 and wasted no time moving into the top 10 once the green flag dropped. When the caution flag waved for a 10-car wreck on lap 16, Newman reported to crew chief Roy McCauley that his Alltel Dodge had no grip. Newman also said the car was tight in the center and exit of the turns.
The incident led to a 15-minute red flag period, stopping the race but not allowing crews to work on their cars until the race resumed under yellow. When the race went back under caution, Newman came down pit road for right side tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. He returned to the track and restarted in fourth place.
Just a handful of laps later, Newman fell back to fifth. He told his crew that the car was still tight in the center of the corners. A second caution at lap 66 gave Newman's crew the opportunity to work on his handling problems. Newman came down pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Newman returned to the track in sixth place.
Back on track, Newman continued to battle with his car's handling. However, after the last round of adjustments, Newman said that his car was now too loose in the center and exit of the turns. By lap 140, when green flag pit stops began, Newman had fallen back to 10th place.
Newman pitted again under green for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. He returned to the track in 10th place. Despite the adjustments, Newman was still battling with the handling of his car, complaining of a lack of grip.
The crew made a series of pit stops and adjustments to help solve Newman's handling issues. With just 100 laps remaining in the race, Newman was still in 10th place. The car was tight, but McCauley told Newman that there was another problem, with a fuel system bracket, which would make it difficult to fuel the car on the final pit stop.
"We're going to try to stretch it as long as we can, and hope for a caution," McCauley told Newman. "We've got a plan - we just have to hope for a caution."
Green flag pit stops began at lap 317 and Newman remained on track in hopes of getting a caution for his planned extended pit stop. Newman took over the race lead at lap 321 and led for six laps before he had to come down pit road under the green flag.
The Alltel pit crew devised a plan to fuel the No. 12 machine, but the additional time that was needed during the pit stop cost Newman two laps to the leader. He returned to the track in 14th place, which he where he finished.