Newman, Army Team Rebound to Finish 11th in Texas FORT WORTH, Texas (April 19, 2010) -- Ryan Newman made one of his patented late-race charges to finish 11th in Monday's rain-delayed Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor ...
Newman, Army Team Rebound to Finish 11th in Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 19, 2010) -- Ryan Newman made one of his patented late-race charges to finish 11th in Monday's rain-delayed Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Newman's U.S. Army ROTC Chevrolet, which appeared stuck in the high teens and low 20s during the majority of the 334-lap, 501-mile NASCAR event, came to life as the race was winding down to post another strong result for the No. 39 Stewart-Haas team.
The big break for Newman came during a nine-car accident on Lap 317. As a number of cars were spinning, smoking and slamming into the concrete wall, Newman made a couple of delicate maneuvers to slide past the wreckfest which forced NASCAR to red flag the race for approximately 20 minutes.
"Avoiding that wreck gave us new life," said Newman. "The good news is that we took advantage of the opportunity. Up until that point, we were strapped in the middle of the field and had trouble gaining ground in dirty air. But our Army ROTC Chevy fought back and picked up track position. It was like taking a chapter from our Soldiers' playbook -- keep on battling, never give up and good things will happen."
After starting 10th as a result of a solid run in Friday's qualifying session at the 1.5-mil oval, Newman immediately fought a tight race car. The pit crew, led by crew chief Tony Gibson, continued to make adjustments, but nothing seemed to take hold until later in the race.
"Truthfully we didn't have a good car today," stated Gibson. "But we walk away feeling pretty good because we came back to post a solid finish. We just didn't have good handling and speed today."
Though Newman remained 16th in the point standings, he has closed the gap of reaching the Chase cutoff (top 12). He is only nine points away from a Chase position.
Newman's recent gain in the point standings is a result of his finishes in the past three races of fourth, first and 11th. Prior to the past three races he was 26th in points.
"No question, we're finding our rhythm," noted Newman. "We're going to keep on rocking -- we have some great tracks coming up that this Army team likes."
Newman's teammate, Tony Stewart, was contending for the Texas win but got caught up in the nine-car pile up with 15 laps remaining. He was credited with a 32nd-place finish and dropped four spots to 13th in the point standings.
The race winner was Denny Hamlin. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne.
The next Cup event is Sunday (April 25) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.