The Lugnut Report: Ryan Newman Climbs Standings, Just Too Little Too Late
Ryan Newman and his teams NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase hopes have not gone as he had planned. After making the Chase with a new team this year, Newman was hoping to be more of a factor each week.
Instead he has struggled each weekend to find the same success that earned their spot in the Chase.
This weekend Newman was hoping to climb his way back into the Chase with a good finish and quite frankly a much needed win.
It all began on Thursday for his team.But with a persistent rain around the Concord, North Carolina area the scheduled events got pushed late into the evening, once the weather had moved through.
Newman had a fast race car in an abbreviated practice, he only ran eight laps. His sixth lap was his fastest lap of 28.3 seconds. That time was good enough for sixth on the speed charts.
During qualifying Newman was scheduled to go out 16th and his 28.3 second lap had him starting sixth on Saturday night.
On Friday during the first of two practices, Newman once again had a fast race car and the team was working minor adjustments and finding speed.
Newman ran 28 laps and like many teams his first lap was his fastest, with 29.2 second lap. Good enough once again for sixth on the charts.
During the final practice Newman was just as consistent with his 45 laps run; his fastest lap was his first lap. He ran a 29.3 second lap that had him sitting sixth on the speed charts on the final tune up for Saturday night’s race.
After the green flag waved on Saturday night, Newman began charging to the front of the field. They got as high as fourth early on but they fell back to 10th. They hit pit road and changed four tires and made an adjustment on his car.
They gained four positions on pit road and came out in sixth for the restart.
On the next round of green flag pit stops Ryan Newman came in 10th position but a slow pit stop with a left front tire issue had them sitting in 18th position. This was a very slow and costly stop for this team, under green.
The team was able to rebound back into the top 10 with solid pits stops and great calls after that slow stop. In fact they were battled in the top ten for most of the night.
On lap 312 Newman was involved in a incident after going four wide with his teammate and owner, Tony Stewart, Roush Fenway driver Greg Biffle, and former teammate David Stremme.
Newman tapped Biffle loose and cause Biffle to get into Stremme, who then tagged the wall forcing Biffle to spin through the grass.
Newman suffered minimal damage and was able to continue.
Newman struggled with a tight handling race car late in the race, but the team was able to maintain track position.
On the restarts they struggled but on the longer runs they were able to make up ground. But when it comes down to the end of the race, short runs are more likely than long runs.
Newman finished 11th on a night that saw many of the Chase contenders struggle, he was able to pick up two positions in the standings to eighth.
Even though they moved up in the standings, they continued to lose ground to not only race leader Jimmie Johnson, but the three other Chase drivers who finished in front of them.
With their championship hopes all but over, they are searching for a victory and to continue to get better for 2010
Check out Jen Preston Lugnut Report for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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