Newman Scores Surprise Win at Phoenix

Ryan Newman scored his 18th career NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series victory today at Phoenix
Ryan Newman scored his 18th career NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series victory today at Phoenix
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Opting to not come to pit road following a late-race caution, Ryan Newman was able to score a fortuitous win in today's Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. The victory snapped a 127-race winless streak for the driver of the No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet who lasted visit victory lane in the 2013 Brickyard 400. It was also the first victory for Richard Childress Racing since Kevin Harvick won the 2013 fall race at Phoenix.

Kyle Larson came home second in the No. 42 Credit Bank Chevrolet. Kyle Busch, who led 114 laps and seemed a sure bet for victory before a blown tire for Joey Logano brought out a caution with 8 laps remaining was third. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who also didn't pit following the late caution came home fourth, with Brad Keselowski fifth.

The early part of the race was dominated by pole sitter Joey Logano, who took the early lead and captured the opening Stage. However, following the restart at the beginning of Stage 2, Chase Elliott charged past Logano with an outside pass into Turn 1. The driver of the No. 24 Napa Chevrolet would go on to win Stage 2.

Shortly thereafter, Kyle Busch was able to move past Elliott in the pits. From there the No. 18 Skittles Toyota seemed to be in control of the proceedings. However, on a day in which a number of drivers suffered tire failures, the Goodyear on the right front of the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford would send Logano into the Turn 1 tire barrier with 8 laps remaining.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Busch and all but three drivers on the lead lap would come to pit road for fresh right-side tires for the restart, with Newman, Stenhouse and Martin Truex, Jr. opting to stay on the track.

“I’ve lost count; that’s how long it’s been. I’ve got to thank Grainger, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, for supporting our series, and Chevrolet," said Newman.

"The list goes on and on. What a gutsy call by (crew chief) Luke (Lambert). I called for two tires and he called for none. I’ve won more races no tires than I have with four. I’m just proud of these guys. We had a good car all day. We kept it out of trouble and collected in the end."

“Trust me, I went into (Turn) 3 looking at my mirror. I knew he was down there; but it took my car forever to get going. I’m spent, man. I had the chills on lap 150. I’m done."

“Everything’s great, we got a top five and that’s what we set out to do today and we got a third so we should be pumped about that and how good this Skittles Camry ran today," said Busch.

"It was awesome there at the end and the guys made some really good calls there at the end – Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys did a good job being able to make some good adjustments and make it feel better once we got out front.

"Thanks to my pit crew – the car really liked clean air. We just got caught up in traffic a little bit early in the race, but we were mindful of that and just kind of bided our time and got up to the front when we did, but we had a little miscue there on pit road with Kurt (Busch) and from there it was just too many cars that stayed out. If it was just two that stayed out maybe, but we really needed the outside like (Kyle) Larson had. Overall we should be proud of our run today and we will move on."

“The guys gave me a great Skittles Camry today, that thing was fantastic there on the long runs and was really, really good and it had good speed to it, especially when we got out front. We kind of struggled a little bit in traffic, but the car liked the clean air and we were sitting pretty, but that’s racing."

Logano wrecked - both his car and Kyle Busch's race
Logano wrecked – both his car and Kyle Busch's race
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

“My guys gave me an awesome Skittles Camry and there’s nothing else I could ask for from them. We were in the right position and we were in a great spot to win the race today, but unfortunately just didn’t happen for us and that’s racing."

“We had a good car and that’s what it takes. When you have a good car you can run up front like that and we kind of missed it a little bit at Atlanta and we rebounded and tried to rebound a little bit at Vegas and had a shot for a top five there, but we weren’t able to capitalize on that, but we were today thankfully. It seems like every finish that’s destined for us it seems to end in a worse finish that day."

With the advantageous outside line on the ensuing restart, Newman was able to hold the lead for the final two laps to score his 18th career NASCAR Monster Energy Series Cup victory.

After qualifying a disappointing 23rd, 8-time Phoenix winner Harvick came home sixth. Joe Gibbs Racing rookie Daniel Suarez earned a career best finish, placing seventh.

Fellow rookie Erik Jones validated an impressive day running consistently in the top-10 finishing eighth. Defending series champion Jimmie Johnson was ninth, while Denny Hamlin ended an up-and-down day coming home tenth.

The final leg of the three-race NASCAR Goes West stretch will be next Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Johnson, the 2016 winner, will look to score his sixth win at ACS.

Results

Pos No. Driver Manu Behind Gap Laps
1 31 Ryan Newman Chevy 0.000 0.000 314
2 42 Kyle Larson Chevy 0.312 0.312 314
3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 0.768 0.456 314
4 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 1.271 0.503 314
5 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 1.286 0.015 314
6 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 1.534 0.248 314
7 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 1.906 0.372 314
8 77 Erik Jones Toyota 2.019 0.113 314
9 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevy 2.1 0.081 314
10 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 2.201 0.101 314
11 78 Martin Truex Jr Toyota 2.477 0.276 314
12 24 Chase Elliott Chevy 2.488 0.011 314
13 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 2.703 0.215 314
14 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevy 2.728 0.025 314
15 1 Jamie McMurray Chevy 2.802 0.074 314
16 13 Ty Dillon Chevy 2.843 0.041 314
17 43 Aric Almirola Ford 3.004 0.161 314
18 3 Austin Dillon Chevy 3.109 0.105 314
19 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 3.183 0.074 314
20 5 Kasey Kahne Chevy 3.201 0.018 314
21 27 Paul Menard Chevy 3.282 0.081 314
22 10 Danica Patrick Ford 3.594 0.312 314
23 21 Ryan Blaney Ford 3.873 0.279 314
24 95 Michael McDowell Chevy 3.899 0.026 314
25 41 Kurt Busch Ford 3.985 0.086 314
26 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevy 4.004 0.019 314
27 37 Chris Buescher Chevy 9.699 5.695 314
28 34 Landon Cassill Ford -1 -10.699 313
29 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford -1 0.000 313
30 15 Reed Sorenson Chevy -2 -1.000 312
31 22 Joey Logano Ford -7 -5.000 307
32 51 Timmy Hill Chevy -7 0.000 307
33 55 Derrike Cope Chevy -7 0.000 307
34 72 Cole Whitt Chevy -58 -51.000 256
35 38 David Ragan Ford -110 -52.000 204
36 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota -113 -3.000 201
37 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota -124 -11.000 190
38 83 Corey LaJoie Toyota -199 -75.000 115
39 33 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevy -305 -106.000 9

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