Newman charges to 6th-place finish in Chicago
July 13, 2009
JOLIET, Ill. (Army News Service, July 11, 2009) -- Ryan Newman made a late-race surge to post a sixth-place finish in Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup event at Chicagoland Speedway.
The finish snapped a four-race streak without a top-10 result for Newman and the U.S. Army/Haas Automation team.
"It was a great rebound for us and a good points day," said Newman, who recorded his ninth top-10 finish of the year, one more than he had the entire 2008 season. "The guys did a great job, especially on pit road."
It was also another successful race for the first-year Stewart-Haas Racing organization with Newman's teammate, Tony Stewart, finishing fourth.
Newman remains seventh in the points while Stewart continues to hold down the No. 1 spot in the driver standings. There are seven races remaining before the top-12 drivers in points begin the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Newman's Chevrolet Impala SS had handling issues for the first half of the LifeLock.com 400, but the No. 39 car came to life as the 267-lap race was winding down on the 1.5-mile oval.
After running in the mid teens, Newman found himself in the top 10 for the first time on Lap 138. He slipped in and out of the top 10 until he made a strong charge following the second-to-last restart on Lap 251.
He went from 11th to fifth and appeared to be heading for a top-five or better finish. But a caution came out on Lap 260 and in the final two-lap, green-flag dash to the checkered flag he lost one position.
"At best we had a 10th-place car today," noted Newman, who has three consecutive top 10s at Chicagoland Speedway. "And it looked like we were in more trouble early in the race as we were fighting to stay in the top 20. We'll take the strong sixth-place finish. It was an Army-like effort of getting the most out of what we had."
The race winner was Mark Martin. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Stewart and Denny Hamlin.
The Sprint Cup Series will have next weekend off before returning to action July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.