Army's crew captures Tissot Pit Road Award in Richmond
May 4, 2010
RICHMOND, Va. (May 3, 2010) -- Although Ryan Newman was disappointed with his eighth-place finish Saturday at Richmond International Raceway, his U.S. Army crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award.
The Army crew put together a string of fast pit stops which helped Newman fight back to eighth place in the 300-mile, 400-lap Crown Royal Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup race.
Newman's No. 39 Army Medicine Chevrolet, which paid tribute to the U.S. Army Medical Department and Army Health Care personnel, spent the least amount of time on pit road - 197.999 seconds.
"Our pit crew has progressively improved since the beginning of the season and this is a deserving award for all of their hard work," said Joe Piette, No. 39 pit crew coach. "It's about speed and teamwork for our Soldiers and it's the same for our Army pit crew. We're proud to say that this Tissot win is for our Soldiers, who inspire us week in and week out."
The race was Newman's third top-10 in the last five races, his third straight top-10 at Richmond and his eighth top-10 in his last nine short track starts.
But the top-10 result at Richmond's short .75-mile track offered little solace to U.S. Army driver Newman, who felt he had a better car than where he finished.
"It was a good points night, but it was also disappointing and frustrating," said Newman. "I think we had a car better than eighth from a speed standpoint, especially on long runs. The U.S. Army Medicine Chevrolet didn't get it done tonight. But I guess when you are frustrated with a top-10, we expect more and that means we are capable of more. We'll see if we can do that next time."
Newman, who started fifth after a strong qualifying effort on Friday, ran in the top-10 for about the first 150 laps. He then fell back a few positions in the middle of the race, but came charging back to post his 11th career top-10 finish in 17 starts at Richmond.
"We like the short tracks and it obviously shows in the results," said Newman. "I felt going into the race that we would be a contender. It just didn't turn out that way tonight. But I like the fact that you see long faces around here after a top-10 finish. We have the same high standards as the people who our Army Medicine Chevy honored tonight -- the U.S. Army Health Care Team."
A decision not to pit following a caution on Lap 368 of 400 was a good one since it allowed Newman to vault from 15th to fifth in track position.
"That decision put us back where we belonged," said crew chief Tony Gibson. "We had a good car tonight but had some things go against us that prevented Ryan from being a consistent front runner."
Newman was looking at a possible top-five finish when the green flag waved for the final time with five laps remaining. He was running sixth, but appeared to get boxed in on the restart which in the end cost him two positions.
Newman gained two spots in the driver point standings and is 16th after 10 races. He is 74 points from 12th, which is the Chase cutoff.
The race winner was Kyle Busch. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards.
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup race is May 8 in Darlington, S.C.