He didn't exactly dominate, but when Ryan Newman needed to be the fastest, he was. Newman bullied his way into the lead on a restart with six laps to go and held on to win the Domino's Pizza 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Newman, who...
He didn't exactly dominate, but when Ryan Newman needed to be the fastest, he was. Newman bullied his way into the lead on a restart with six laps to go and held on to win the Domino's Pizza 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
Newman, who also won the Busch Series race last weekend at Watkins Glen, has two wins in four Busch Series starts this year.
"That was awesome," said Newman, who started 38th and surged to fourth within the first 50 laps. "The guys did an awesome job on the engine. It was a great team effort today. We worked on the car all day. The guys did a great job making adjustments."
Newman trailed Greg Biffle on the final restart and powered his way into the lead shortly after crossing the start/finish line.
"I got by him on the inside," said Newman, who earned his first Busch Series win at MIS in 2001. "We got a good jump. I know he (Biffle) had a fast car. He was pretty confident in the pre-race interviews and we just tried to keep quiet about ours. We had an awesome car the whole race."
Biffle led most of the second half of the race and was pulling away from the pack before a pair of late-race cautions that brought the field back together.
"That was a lot of fun those last few laps," said Biffle, who has won the past two Nextel Cup races at MIS. "My car was good all day. We weren't super fast on the restarts. I didn't need that shootout (at the end). We just didn't adjust enough, (but) it was a good day and we had a lot of fun."
Biffle started ninth when qualifying was rained out and the field was determined by owner's points. He jumped up to sixth within the first 10 laps and was second by lap 60 before cruising past Clint Bowyer for the lead on lap 66.
Biffle held off his Nextel Cup teammate Carl Edwards in the closing laps and finished second.
Points leader Martin Truex Jr. started on the pole, but picked up some debris early in the race that blocked his grill and sent the water temperature soaring. Truex lost more ground when he came back to the pits with a soft tire just prior to a restart on lap 53. He dropped as far back as 31st, but made his way back into the top-10 in the closing laps. He finished fourth and padded his points lead over Bowyer.
"We had a good car," said Truex, who finished third from the pole last year. "We were a top-5 car. We were just lucky that it happened early enough in the race that we could come back from it."
After starting 15th, J.J. Yeley advanced his position quickly in the opening laps. He was eighth on lap 10 and jumped up to sixth by lap 70. He took fourth from Kevin Harvick on lap 83 and passed Newman for the lead when Biffle and Bowyer made green flag stops on laps 88. Yeley finished fifth.
Bowyer, who came into the race second in points, took the lead from Truex on the first lap and led a race-high 62 laps before giving up the lead to Biffle. Bowyer was looking to make up ground on Truex in the points race, but had to make two extra pit stops late in the race after having a problem getting fuel into the racecar and then serving a pit road violation penalty. He plummeted to 30th, two laps down to the leader.
Sorenson also had a difficult day after coming into race third in the championship standings. Sorenson dropped out of the top-10 when his team fumbled with a spring rubber during a yellow flag pit stop. He retired from the race when his motor expired shortly after the restart with 12 laps remaining in the race and finished 36th.
Kevin Harvick, who won the race in 2003, stayed out when the leaders pitted late in the race. He took the lead, but quickly lost it on the restart. He pitted under the last caution and finished 13th.
Morning rain throughout Eastern Michigan on Saturday forced NASCAR to cancel the Busch qualifying session and the field was set by owner's points. It's the second year in a row that Busch qualifying was rained out at MIS.