Newman Comes Up Just Short in Advancing Through NASCAR Playoffs
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 29, 2019) – The cutoff race for the opening round of the NASCAR Playoffs came down to one final restart for Ryan Newman. Despite battling every inch – just as he and the No. 6 team have done all season – his fight came up just short and he will not advance through to the round of 12.
“I felt like I made a lot of mistakes trying too hard,” Newman said after the race. “We did not have the race car and that’s what I had to do. I felt like we were in a position at one point and then just kept trying too hard trying to keep the 10 car behind us and missed the curbs. That was unfortunate. We came in at a big deficiency and finished one point out or whatever it was, but, no matter what, we are still going to fight for fifth. I’m proud of everybody at Roush Fenway for the fight and the opportunity that they’ve given me. We’re not done; we’re just out at this point.”
Newman entered the weekend ninth in points and knew the 109-lap event would come down to the final few laps. That proved to be true as he restarted with less than 10 to go on the plus side, but just lost that advantage in the final six laps. He was credited with a 32nd-place finish after apparently failing to perform a stop-and-go penalty in the final two laps after missing the chicane.
The South Bend, Indiana, native began the day from the 24th position after qualifying on Friday. The opening 25-lap stage featured two cautions – the second of which ended the stage – as Newman finished 20th after a multi-car collision occurred in turn one on lap 22.
After lining back up 17th for the second segment, Newman jumped up to 14th by lap 33 but reported he was simply struggling for grip. The caution flag was again displayed with nine to go in stage two, setting up another pit stop to try and tune up his Performance Plus Ford, before restarting 17th and finishing 23rd in the stage.
He fired off 22nd for the final segment, which featured six yellows as the field jockeyed for positon. After staying out under the first of those yellow flags at lap 61, Newman restarted 17th, and got as high as 11th by lap 71 after another caution came out. He would pit under green from the eighth spot at lap 76 for four tires, but after the field cycled – some taking fuel only or just two tires – he cycled back to 24th when the yellow came back out at lap 88.
With 17 to go, Newman found himself facing the wrong direction on track after a chain reaction spin occurred just in front of his machine. That incident required a pit stop for four fresh tires, setting him back up 27th on the restart with 15 to go. Over the course of the closing laps, he was forced through the grass at one point and eventually ran out of steam as the checkered flag flew.
Despite not advancing through, Newman and the No. 6 team still have seven races remaining to try and improve even further on the 2019 season, which continues next week at Dover. Race coverage on Sunday begins at 2:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.