It was a solid weekend with a sour ending for RCR drivers, Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon. The two ran strong throughout the 400-mile event, but ultimately battery issues for both resulted in a 32nd place for Dillon and a 35th for Newman.
Newman started the day second and showed strength through the early half of the race with a sixth in Stage 1 and a third in Stage 2. With under 100 laps to go, the 39-year-old fell out of the top-five but still ran firmly inside the top-10 when a penalty with 48 laps to go for a crew member over the wall too soon began the unfortunate chain of events to follow.
Nine laps after serving his punishment, Newman came down pit road and to the garage to get a replacement battery, which brought an end to what was shaping up to be a good day for the No. 31 team.
“Just lost the charging system and therefore the battery went dead. It took us out of it. It was unfortunate.” Newman said. “Just really proud of the guys on the Caterpillar Chevrolet. Had a car that was capable of winning there, especially seeing who won. We were there. We took ourselves out, but it was nice to be there.”
As for Dillon, he had an impressive performance going after starting the 19th. By the end of Stage 1 he had worked his up to 11th, and by the end of Stage 2, he found himself sixth. In the closing stages of the race, the North Carolina-native ran as high as second, before losing power just like Newman with 18 laps to go.
“Everything just shut off all power,” Dillon stated.
Well, the two might have had decent runs at Atlanta, the poor results will be all Dillon will remember from the day.
“It just doesn’t mean anything though when you can’t get the finish. Got to go back to work. I’m proud of my guys for the speed they put in this race car. We worked hard, really hard, this one just hurts there is nothing better to say about it, it just hurts.”
Mitchell Breuer is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist
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