For the second-straight week, Ryan Newman and the No. 6 team put together a solid result, finishing ninth under the lights Saturday night at Richmond Raceway in the Roush Performance Ford Mustang.
“Our Roush Performance Ford Mustang was good,” Newman said. “We needed some track position to start and I think we could have done something with it. We had good lap times at points but just battled track position. We got blocked in on the first pit stop and set us back even farther than when we started. I am proud of the guys. They did a good job in the pits and we had a good car.”
Newman began the weekend qualifying 31st in Friday’s qualifying session, but rolled off the grid 24th after a host of cars failed pre-race technical inspection with the impound rules in effect. With a competition caution at lap 40, the opening two stages ran 100 laps each with the final stage going 200 laps.
The 2003 Richmond race winner ran 21st at the competition yellow, reporting he was tight in the center of the turns and loose off. After getting blocked in leaving pit road in his first stop under the yellow, Newman restarted 26th at lap 46. He went on to end the stage in 23rd, still reporting he needed to be more free in the center.
After service on his No. 6 machine under the stage break, he would roll off 19th, gaining four spots in the pits, one of many stops on the night the pit crew earned him an advantage with track position
The yellow flag waved again at lap 127 when he ran 18th, and this time the crew put him plus two off pit road, lining back up 16th for the restart with 65 to go in the stage. He went on to conclude stage two in 17th, but again gained track position off pit road after another solid stop, which put him 13th to begin the final stage.
The next yellow waved at lap 242, when Newman reported the car was the best it’d been all night. He would pit under the break for four tires and fuel, and lined back up 11th at lap 252. From there the race went green, meaning one final stop for the field.
That stop for Newman came at lap 316 when he brought his No. 6 Ford Mustang down pit road for four tires and fuel. Once stops had cycled the 2008 Daytona 500 Champion was sixth, before he went on to maintain the top-10 position over the final 70 laps to record his second-straight ninth-place result.
Following the first off weekend of the season next weekend for Easter, Newman and the No. 6 team return to action at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks. Race coverage for Sunday’s Geico 500 begins at 2 p.m. ET on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.