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Newman, Told To Hit The Bricks, Wins Brickyard

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 28 2013

Ryan Newman, a native of Indiana, won the Brickyard 400 Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

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Ryan Newman, a lame duck in his driving job at Stewart Haas Racing, won Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Newman, informed earlier this month he would be replaced by Kevin Harvick at SHR next season, took a lead he would not surrender when then-leader Jimmie Johnson had a slow green-flag pit stop with just over 25 laps to go.

“Starting on the pole and winning the race,” Newman said, “just an awesome day for me. This is a dream come true.”

Hendrick Motorsports’ Johnson, the series points leader and the winner of last year’s Brickyard race, finished second – 2.657 seconds back.

Kasey Kahne, Johnson’s teammate finished third and Tony Stewart, who told Newman to hit the bricks, was fourth.

Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing was fifth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished sixth, Jeff Gordon seventh, Joey Logano eighth, Juan Pablo Montoya ninth and Kyle Busch 10th.

The victory for Newman, who is a native of Indiana, was his first since the sprint race at Martinsville in 2012. It was the 17th of his career.

“The biggest thing is confidence,” Newman said when asked what the victory would mean for him. “We still have a championship to go after.”

Could it help land him a job with another Cup team?

“I think obviously it helps,” Newman said. “The emotions have been an absolute rollercoaster. Loudon was a disaster. We got crashed out, everything that was said. We got through all that stuff. Talked about it.

“That weekend off I think was good timing, to be able to hit control, alt, delete. Matt did an amazing job to come here with a fast racecar, give me what I needed. We all did it together. Not the guys just here, but the guys at the shop, the pit crew. You all know it’s a huge team sport. It makes it better looking for something for 2014, also for Matt. There’s a lot of questions to be answered. We’ll get through all that. But today we’re celebrating a victory.

Newman and Stewart insist they remain good friends despite the fact they will apparently be parting ways at the end of the year. Matter of economics, Stewart has said of the decision to replace Newman with Harvick and his sponsor Budweiser.

In Victory Circle Sunday, they shared bear hugs and laughter.

“He’s a great teammate and even a better friend. I couldn’t be happier for him,” Stewart said.

Despite starting from the pole and leading at the checkered flag, Newman did not lead the most laps. Johnson did, with 73 to Newman’s 45.

The five-time champ appeared to be in great position to win his sixth Brickyard event late in the race. He had a multi-second lead and a car that looked uncatchable when running out in clean air.

But on lap 133 of the 160-lap race, Johnson headed into the pits for fuel and tires. A problem developed and after the stops had cycled through, Newman had the multi-second lead.

“I think we had like a 17‑second stop,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what the distance was at the end. I would have been a lot closer to him. Catching them and them passing them is different. I’m not sure what the delta was when I entered the track, how big of a gap I had from the 39 to us.

“But we definitely had a mistake on our stop. Could have been four seconds closer leaving pit road. Not sure where that would be, like I said.

“Stuff happens. Everybody scans us. When you’re the dominant car, they’re going to do the opposite of what you do. I think I pitted before them, so it was an easy call for them to do the opposite. The 2 gave them the track position they needed. With the mistake, they had good track position.”

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

1. (1) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 160, $423033.

2. (2) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 160, $379736.

3. (7) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 160, $299500.

4. (5) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 160, $300650.

5. (13) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 160, $268066.

6. (15) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160, $214425.

7. (9) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160, $243361.

8. (11) Joey Logano, Ford, 160, $225258.

9. (8) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 160, $212964.

10. (19) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160, $223858.

11. (38) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 160, $208775.

12. (23) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 160, $201916.

13. (3) Carl Edwards, Ford, 160, $203700.

14. (6) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 160, $192270.

15. (18) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 160, $191620.

16. (10) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 160, $190089.

17. (21) Aric Almirola, Ford, 160, $198686.

18. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160, $183550.

19. (24) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 160, $203086.

20. (17) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 160, $198983.

21. (12) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 160, $207541.

22. (14) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 160, $182758.

23. (26) Mark Martin, Toyota, 160, $163425.

24. (27) Greg Biffle, Ford, 159, $169025.

25. (25) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #, Ford, 159, $200411.

26. (20) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 159, $168408.

27. (30) Casey Mears, Ford, 159, $173308.

28. (28) Trevor Bayne(i), Ford, 159, $150050.

29. (31) David Reutimann, Toyota, 158, $161108.

30. (33) Danica Patrick #, Chevrolet, 158, $150400.

31. (22) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 158, $165397.

32. (35) Michael McDowell, Ford, 157, $144850.

33. (29) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 157, $144600.

34. (36) David Ragan, Ford, 157, $152300.

35. (42) David Gilliland, Ford, 157, $144050.

36. (34) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 157, $151950.

37. (41) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 156, $143840.

38. (32) Josh Wise(i), Ford, 156, $137170.

39. (39) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 156, $133170.

40. (37) David Stremme, Toyota, 151, $129170.

41. (40) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 146, $125170.

42. (43) Timmy Hill #, Ford, 121, $121170.

43. (16) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 110, $126670.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 153.485 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 36 Mins, 22 Secs. Margin of Victory: 2.657 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 3 for 14 laps.

Lead Changes: 20 among 12 drivers.

Lap Leaders: R. Newman 1-29; J. Logano 30; J. Johnson 31-54; C. Edwards 55; J. Montoya 56; J. Gordon 57-61; J. Johnson 62-82; B. Keselowski 83-86; J. Logano 87-96; J. Johnson 97-107; R. Newman 108-110; J. McMurray 111-115; J. Johnson 116-132; R. Newman 133; J. Gordon 134-139; D. Hamlin 140-143; K. Harvick 144-145; P. Menard 146; C. Bowyer 147; B. Keselowski 148; R. Newman 149-160.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Johnson 4 times for 73 laps; R. Newman 4 times for 45 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 11 laps; J. Gordon 2 times for 11 laps; J. McMurray 1 time for 5 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 5 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 4 laps; K. Harvick 1 time for 2 laps; J. Montoya 1 time for 1 lap; C. Bowyer 1 time for 1 lap; P. Menard 1 time for 1 lap; C. Edwards 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 12 in Points: J. Johnson – 740; C. Bowyer – 665; C. Edwards – 655; K. Harvick – 648; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 616; M. Kenseth – 615; Kyle Busch – 610; G. Biffle – 565; K. Kahne – 564; J. Gordon – 559; T. Stewart – 558; M. Truex Jr. – 554.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 28 2013
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