Ryan Newman scored the win in the second race of the 2023 season in Thursday’s Camping World SRX Racing event at Stafford Speedway.
Newman, who had a rocket ship late in the race, got to the finish line ahead of Daniel Suarez for the race win.
Thursday night, Newman once again showed why he loves the little bullring, earning his second win in three career tries at the track in the Camping World Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) series.
Newman won at Stafford last year, was runner-up in last week’s race there, and was king of the hill again during ESPN’s Thursday Night Thunder in the No. 39. Just like he did in his win at Stafford last year, Rocket Man took the lead with six laps to go and ultimately drove right into victory lane.
“Kept my car straight, tried to be easy on the brakes and be good to my Goodyear Eagles,” Newman said. “I felt like I did an OK job. I feel like the other guys were pretty aggressive. That played to my favor. You never know how a race is going to unfold. Last week we got cut short by the rain. Tonight, it took us 74 of the 80 laps today to get the job done.
Marco Andretti, Ken Schrader and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five finishers in the race.
Tony Kanaan led for awhile but in turn one his car went straight to the wall with no brakes.
“I lost my brakes,” Kanaan said.
“I had them and all of the sudden we restarted and when I went into Turn 1, I think you guys can see how quick that was. And it was not pleasant having no brakes and heading straight into that wall.
“It was going to be a hell of a win. We battled with Tony [Stewart], Daniel [Suarez] and Ryan [Preece].”
Andretti said he learned a lesson last week at Stafford to save his brakes.
“I took care of myself this week,” Andretti said.
”The brakes were going long, but they didn’t go today. I think it cost me a shot at winning last week, but it helped me get a podium today.”
Thursday night’s race was originally scheduled for Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., but it was moved to Stafford after the area was devastated by significant rain and resulting flooding in and around the Barre area.
“It was tough,” Newman said of his path to victory lane Thursday night. “Those guys had a pretty good pace at the start there and my fat butt had to get out. I’m so proud of this opportunity.”