Ryan Newman – Darlington II Advance
NASCAR Returns to Action
- Following its return to racing Sunday at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR continues its modified schedule with a second event at ‘The Lady in Black’ Wednesday night in primetime. It will mark the third of seven NASCAR national series races in an 11-day span.
- Once competition wraps at Darlington on Wednesday, the NCS will transition to Charlotte Motor Speedway for two-consecutive events, the first on May 24 with the crown jewel Coca-Cola 600. It will be followed by a shorter event on May 27.
- Four weeks of NASCAR action were completed prior to the hiatus with races at Atlanta, Homestead, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Dover and Martinsville postponed.
Sunday Recap, Wednesday Preview
- In his first race back since the Daytona 500, Newman fought his way inside the top-10 early on in Sunday’s 293-lap race at Darlington before finishing 15th. He crossed the line ninth in stage one to earn two stage points, and came back from a speeding penalty and cut tire in the closing laps to earn a top-15 finish.
- The starting lineup for Wednesday’s 311.4-mile race will be determined by an invert for positions 1-20, putting Newman sixth on the grid for Wednesday night’s race.
Newman Historically at Darlington Raceway
- Wednesday will be Newman’s 23rd Cup Series start at Darlington, where he has 13 top-10s and seven top fives. He carries a 12.7 average finish – his second-best of any track on the circuit behind only Richmond (12.3).
- Newman has finished top-10 in 59 percent of the races at the 1.366-mile track, including a runner-up finish in his first ever-Southern 500 back in 2002. Dating back eight events, Newman has five finishes of 13th or better including four top-10s.
- Newman has one career pole at ‘The Lady in Black’, which came back in the 2003 Southern 500. Overall he has an average starting position of 11.1 with 13 top-10 starts, eight of which were inside the top five.
- Newman also made five starts at Darlington in the Xfinity Series, earning the pole in each of the first two events in 2001. He went on to finish fourth in the 2001 fall race – his best career Xfinity result – with an overall finish of 13.6 in the series at the famed track.
Scott Graves at Darlington Raceway
- Graves will call his sixth NCS race at Darlington atop the pit box. In five prior events, Graves has an average finish of 24.6, coming off Newman’s 15th-place finish on Sunday.
- In Xfinity Series action, Graves led Suarez to a third-place finish in 2016 after starting fifth. A year prior, he and Chris Buescher paired up for a fifth-place result.
Newman on Wednesday’s race:
“I felt like we unloaded pretty well Sunday and had a good run going for a good portion of the race. We just got a little off in terms of adjustments and had a couple things go south, but battled back for a top-15. With those notes and our performance early on I feel pretty good heading into Wednesday. Looking forward to putting together another strong race in our Oscar Mayer Ford and once again showing everyone how NASCAR is coming back during these times.”
The Real Heroes Project Continues at Darlington
NASCAR is collaborating with other professional sports properties across the country to embark on The Real Heroes Project. The goal is to motivate and inspire healthcare workers as sports only can, by turning its greatest heroes (the athletes) into their greatest fans. To that end, the name of a COVID-19 frontline worker will be displayed above the driver’s side door on each entry Wednesday night.
NASCAR allowed teams to select the names of the frontline workers to appear on their cars, and Newman chose a name special to him, Fe Roster, VP & Chief Care Continuum Officer at Halifax Health. Fe played a vital role in Newman’s life in the days following his horrific, last-lap crash in the Daytona 500, where he walked out of Halifax Medical Center three days later under the care of Roster and others. Dr. Jerry Petty, a partner with NASCAR for 40+ years, also played a vital role in Newman’s recovery all the way up until clearing him for NASCAR action, and – at Newman’s request – Petty will be on the name rail of the No. 17 machine Wednesday night.
On the Car
Oscar Mayer returns for Wednesday’s race at Darlington, this time promoting its love for hot dogs. Oscar Mayer and Roush Fenway announced their continued partnership at the end of the 2019 season, as the company continues to highlight its quality meat offerings via its paint schemes throughout the season.
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