Ryan Newman takes Phoenix win in thrilling upset

Ryan Newman takes Phoenix win in thrilling upset
Mar 19, 2017, 11:00 PM

The drought is over for Richard Childress Racing and Ryan Newman.

A late-race caution with five-laps remaining in the Camping World 500 enabled the No. 31 RCR team the chance to stay out on the track and secure the 106th win for Childress and the 18th-career Cup win for Newman.

“It was a long time coming,” said Newman who last won the Brickyard 400 in 2013. Childress’ last win came here at Phoenix Raceway in the 2013 fall race with Kevin Harvick.

"What a gutsy call by (crew chief) Luke (Lambert). I called for two tires and he called for none. I’ve won more races no tires than I have with four. I’m just proud of these guys. We had a good car all day. We kept it out of trouble and collected in the end.”

Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers. 

“This one sucks but it’s still good to finish second,” Larson said.

Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin completed the top 10. 

“You just wonder if you can do it,” Newman said after ending his 127-race winless streak. "You don’t doubt yourself but it gets tougher and tougher."

Beginning of Stage 3

Chase Elliott led the field to green for Stage 3 at Phoenix Raceway with Larson along side. The youngsters made contact coming to the line and after the first 10 laps, Elliott extended his lead to a second over Larson with Kyle Busch, Keselowski and Johnson rounding out the top five.

The first caution in the third segment occurred on Lap 191 when Matt Kenseth hit the wall coming out of Turn 4. Kenseth, who had complained the car was plowing tight, was running 15th when his right-front tire blew. 

Elliott was in the lead followed by Kyle Busch, Larson, Keselowski, Johnson, Hamlin, Harvick, Jones, McMurray and Kahne when the leaders came to pit. Busch came out with the lead followed by Elliott, Larson, Keselowski, Harvick, Jones, Kahne, Blaney, Jones and Newman. 

The pit stop proved beneficial for Logano, who was battling Clint Bowyer for 16th and not making progress. Logano moved up to 11th for the restart. 

The second caution of the stage was ignited after a tire blew on the No. 38 Ford of David Ragan in Turn 1 on Lap 205. Ragan collected Gaulding in the process. Busch remained at the point followed by Keselowski, Elliott, Larson and Johnson. Hamlin, who was running eighth at the time of the caution, radioed to the No. 11 team, “I don’t know if it’s flat or not but something is (expletive) up.” Hamlin pitted and the team discovered a one-inch cut in the right rear tire. He re-pitted on Lap 211 to top off and restarted 30th. 

Busch led the field to green on Lap 212 with 100 laps remaining. 

Busch had led 64 laps in Stage 3 when NASCAR called a caution (seventh) for debris after the No. 72 of Cole Whitt hit the wall in Turn 2. Busch led the field into the pits. Keselowski, Larson, Harvick, Johnson, Jones, Newman, Truex and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., rounded out the top 10. 

Busch held the lead out of the pits followed by Larson, Keselowski, Harvick, Elliott, Jones, Newman, Johnson and Kahne. Truex restarted 24th after getting caught up in the air hose of the No. 95 pits next door when the race went green on Lap 261. 

After completing the first lap, Busch maintained the point followed by Larson, Harvick, Keselowski, Jones, Elliott, Johnson, Logano, Newman and  McMurray. Logano passed Johnson briefly on Lap 264, but Johnson regained seventh-place on Lap 265. 

The defining caution

Busch had led 114 laps when a right-front tire blew on the No. 22 Ford of Logano to ignite the eighth caution. The polesitter was running 11th at the time. The No. 22 suffered a melted bead from excessive brake heat. Busch came to pit road followed by Larson, Harvick, Keselowski, Jones, Johnson, Elliott, McMurray, Hamlin and Clint Bowyer. 

However, the No. 31 team told Newman to stay out. He led the field to overtime followed by Stenhouse, Truex, Larson and Busch. Entering Turn 1, Stenhouse and Larson made contact which enabled Newman to extend his lead and hold onto the point for the win. Newman’s advantage was 0.312-seconds over Larson at the line.

“Trust me, I went into (Turn) 3 looking at my mirror,” Newman said. "I knew he was down there; but it took my car forever to get going. I’m spent, man. I had the chills on lap 150. I’m done.”

There were 15 lead changes among eight drivers. Kyle Busch’s 114 laps were the most led in the 314-lap race. The race was slowed by eight cautions for 45 laps.

Larson now leads the Cup standings by six points over Keselowski and is the first Ganassi driver to top the championship since 2002 with Sterling Marlin.

The No. 2 Ford of Brad Keselowski failed weights and measures in post-race inspection.

1 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 314  
2 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 314 0.312
3 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 314 0.768
4 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 314 1.271
5 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 314 1.286
6 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 314 1.534
7 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 314 1.906
8 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 314 2.019
9 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 314 2.100
10 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 314 2.201

CLICK HERE for complete race results

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Phoenix
Sub-event Sunday race
Location ISM Raceway
Drivers Ryan Newman
Teams Richard Childress Racing
Author Lee Spencer