Ryan Newman – Kentucky Advance
Newman at Kentucky Speedway
- Newman will make his ninth MENCS start at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday. In eight prior races, Newman has an average finish of 15.1 with three top-five finishes.
- Newman has two third-place results at Kentucky, the first in 2014 after starting seventh, and the second in 2016 after lining up 14th. He also crossed the line fourth in the first-ever Cup series race at the 1.5-mile track back in 2011.
- Newman’s average qualifying effort at Kentucky is 14.5 with four top-10 starts, the most recent coming last season where he turned the 10th-quickest time.
Scott Graves at Kentucky Speedway
- Graves has three MENCS starts at Kentucky as a crew chief – one with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and two with Daniel Suarez.
- His best finish of 15th came with Suarez just last season. His best qualifying effort at the 1.5-mile track of ninth occurred back in 2017.
- Graves also called six Xfinity Series events at Kentucky – four with Chris Buescher and two with Suarez – recording four top-10s, two of which were top-five results. He finished runner-up with Suarez in the second race at the track in 2016 and third in the first race that year.
Newman on racing at Kentucky:
“Kentucky is another track with a lot of character and one that is unique to me having won one of the first races there back in 2000 in ARCA. Our 1.5-mile program has continued to improve this season and we’re hoping that is the case this weekend as we head down the stretch in the playoff battle. Our team has been working hard to simply get more raw speed in the cars, so we’re looking forward to the weekend in our Acorns Ford Mustang.”
Tracking the Playoff Hunt
- Newman’s 32 total points in Daytona and fifth-place result catapulted him back inside the cut line for the playoffs, sitting 16th in the driver standings with eight races until the playoffs begin in Las Vegas.
- The battle for the coveted top-16 continues to remain close as just 14 points separate the 15th-18th place drivers. Newman is 31 points out of 14th (Kyle Larson), and just 32 points from 13th (Jimmie Johnson).
On the Car
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Newman found himself in the right place at the right time in Sunday’s postponed race at Daytona, sitting fifth when inclement weather forced NASCAR to call the race 33 laps short.