Four races into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, and Ryan Newman is still searching for his first top-10 finish of 2019.
This is Newman’s first year driving the No. 6 machine for Roush Fenway Racing but his performance hasn’t been the worst. The Indiana native is averaging a 15.8 finish and is currently 17th in the overall standings. The performances have shown him race in the top-10, but just hasn’t been able to hold on to the spot.
The team is looking for improvements as the weeks go by, with his 12th-place finish at ISM Raceway leaving him satisfied with the steps Roush Fenway Racing is taking with their program.
“We definitely showed improvement from last week, which is a good sign for the weeks to come,” Newman said. “Our No. 6 Oscar Mayer team worked hard after practice yesterday to make some changes, which showed once we took the green. Although we wanted a top-10, we’ll take the result, improve and move on to Fontana next week looking to capitalize on the momentum.”
Heading into Auto Club Speedway, Newman looks for his first top-10 finish at the wide two-mile track since 2015 where he placed fifth.
In looking to improve results, Newman could help his chances by starting better as he has yet to reach the final round of qualifying this season. The session could be interesting at Fontana with the rule package in place. Will everyone wait till the last few minutes to go out on the track, or will drivers make a lap at the beginning? The draft could play a big role in qualifying and that’s something that Newman can try to take advantage of.
Performing well this week could be a great morale boost as the No. 6 team will be debuting with Performance Plus as the primary sponsor for the first time this season. Fontana also marks the close of the West Coast swing so drivers like Newman’s are looking forward to head back east.
“We’re excited to get to Fontana to close out the West Coast swing on a high note,” he said. “Auto Club is a rough track that carries a ton of speed and we’re anxious to see how the new package will apply to it. We definitely showed improvements last week at Phoenix and had a solid run going, so our goal is to maintain that momentum this weekend in Fontana.”
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