INDIANAPOLIS, IN – It was an upset, and a much needed win for Ryan Newman at the Brickyard on Sunday. As usual, Jimmie Johnson had the car to beat, but a late pit stop gave pole-sitter Ryan Newman the edge he needed to pull off an upset. The Indiana native has not won here before so it was definitely a treat for Newman. "Starting on the pole and winning the race -- just an awesome day for us," Newman said after climbing out of his car. "This is a dream come true for me. I can't wait to push my lips on those bricks.
After qualifying on the pole, Newman commented “I'll admit I was emotional. For me it special because it is the Brickyard, and I hadn't won a pole her before even though I have won so many poles. It's been so long since I won a pole, people ask me if I ran out of fuel for the rockets. That type of thing. So this is special to me for a lot of reasons; being home here in Indiana; being at the Brickyard; being so long since I won a pole. Hopefully we can turn it into a good day tomorrow." As we know, he did fine on Sunday.
The win has even some additional sweetness since Ryan recently learned that he will not have a ride at Stewart-Haas next year. Stewart announced in New Hampshire that Kevin Harvick will be taking the wheel of #4 Chevrolet. "Obviously, it [the win] helps," Newman said. "The emotions have been an absolute roller coaster -- no doubt. I got fired a couple of weeks ago and come back here and win the pole and win the race, and it's all because of hard effort. These guys (his team) are behind me, and I'm behind them."
A slow pit on lap 33 did Johnson in. The team took on 4 tires and the sub-par 17 sec stop allowed Newman, who took only 2 tires, to a 7-sec lead. Johnson ran hard and was gaining on Newman, but there just weren’t enough laps left. "There's definitely disappointment there," said Johnson, whohas squandered winning opportunities on late-race restarts this year, notablyat Dover and Kentucky. "But that's racing. It happens. I've given away afew out there this year, too.”
Following Johnson was Kasey Kahne then Ryan’s boss Tony Stewart. Allegedly, still friends, Stewart had some nice words for Ryan, "I can't wait to give him a hug and congratulate him," Stewart said after the race. "He did a great job all weekend. It was between him and the 48. That was clear to see. I didn't know what strategy was going to be at the end. I just kept watching the Jumbotrons coming off (Turn) 4 to see where he was at."
Danica raced better than she qualified moving from starting position 33 to finishing 30th.
A seventh place finish for Jeff Gordon moves the 4-time Sprint Car Champ into 10th place and a good shot at The Chase. Jimmie Johnson widened his margin over Clint Boyer to 75 points. Brad Keselowski dropped from 9th to 13th