SPARTA, KY – Ryan Newman entered Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 three points to the good in the playoff standings in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He leaves two points to the bad. While most would consider that a bad night for the Roush/Fenway Racing driver, he’s happy to escape the race with yet another top 10 finish.
Newman, started 35th instead of 23rd after his No. 6 Ford failed prerace inspection. That put them behind the eight ball from the get go. Newman, would only finish 20th in the first stage. Lucky for him, his main challengers for the final few playoff spots didn’t score any points themselves.
In Stage 2, Newman tried to strategize themselves some points, but he came up just short. He finished 13th on the Lap 160 caution break.
But, he hung around in the end and would finish ninth for his fourth top 10 finish in the last five races of the season. That’s great for RFR to give him that as you can visibly see this team getting better and better.
“It was a good run,” said Newman on his finish. “To start where we did and get back up into the top 10, that was good. We had a crazy last restart, lost a few spots but got it back in (Turns) 3 and 4. I’m proud of the guys. … (Restarts like the final one) are crazy, but this aero package makes it that way. … I think we got five or six cars there coming to the white. It was a good run for our Acorns Ford. We still have to get our performance better. The guys did a good job on pit lane but we just have to have faster race cars. We didn’t have the balance quite right but you can’t come to the race track and qualify damn near wide open six-tenths of a second off the pole. We have some work to do and we know what to do.”
Even his teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a good night. Stenhouse, scored four stage point in the first segment in his No. 17 Ford and would finish 12th overall in the race. He was 12th in the last 1.5-mile race at Chicagoland too.