NASCAR Cup Series

Newman Hopeful Improvements Leads to Playoff Berth

With six races remaining until the start of the playoffs the thrill and adrenaline is starting to pick up for the last few spots of the postseason.

For some fans, it is quite a surprise that the former Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman is having a mediocre year.

Going into this season, Newman had higher expectations after debuting the new Camaro ZL1 at Daytona in February.

In fact, his teammate Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500 bringing a boost of momentum to Richard Childress Racing after claiming victory in the new car.

But their expectations haven’t been proven as Newman has only scored four top-10’s this year entering the Foxwoods Casino Resort 301. 

After finishing outside the top-10 in the first two stages, Newman was able to overcome some struggles and place in the sixth position at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“Just proud of everybody. Not the end result that we want, but a huge improvement and that is something we want” Newman said.

The 40-year-old from South Bend, Indiana had not had a top-10 finish at New Hampshire since the summer race of 2016.

Last season, it seemed like the No. 31 team was bound to have a promising year after winning the fourth race on the schedule at the ISM Raceway. Despite the victory, Newman went on to finish the season last in the playoff standings which has appeared to transfer over to this year.

His sixth-place finish at New Hampshire was his best result of the season.

Newman and the No. 31 team definitely still have a lot of work to do to make the playoff push, but his performance on Sunday was a stepping stone.

“Yeah, it was a good rebound from yesterday,” Newman said. “The entire weekend they definitely stepped it up. It was a good run for our Chevy Accessories Chevy Camaro. The guys did a good job in the pits today, that was nice to see, we have been struggling a little bit there. Just proud of everybody.”

As Newman looks to join his teammate in the playoffs, with six races left until the start of the postseason, Newman sits 19th in the standings, 74 points behind the cutoff.

Like every other team in the Monster Energy Cup Series garage, their ultimate goal is to win races and compete for a championship.

“We will keep digging.”


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By Brandon Rivero

Brandon Rivero lives 45 miles north of Homestead-Miami Speedway. Born and raised in Miami, FL, he currently is a student at Florida International University school of Communications and Journalism with a focus in Public Relations. In addition to POPULAR SPEED, Rivero is a member of his university's Public Relations Student Society of America and an intern for the Florida Panthers NHL Club.