In his debut behind the wheel of the No. 6, Ryan Newman rolled off fourth for Sunday’s Clash at Daytona International Speedway in the Wyndham Rewards Ford, but got caught up in a late race multi-car incident before the race was eventually called due to rain resulting in a ninth-place finish.
“Our Ford was pretty tore up,” Newman said afterwards. “I would have rather gone back green and had a shot than where I was there when that melee happened on the back straightaway. We learned a few things today. Number one, watch the radar. Number two, there’s going to be a crash, and, number three, we’ve got to work on our car and make it just a little bit better for just raw speed and some drivability. It looked like it was pretty much follow the leader. Hopefully, the more cars that get on the race track that will change and make the racing a little bit more exciting.”
Newman, who qualified for the Clash via his 2008 Daytona 500 win, was awarded the fourth starting spot after a random draw Saturday night. NASCAR scheduled a competition caution for lap 25, but it would wave earlier as rain began to fall at lap eight while Newman rode sixth.
After a restart at lap 12, the race ran green up until the competition yellow, when Newman brought his Ford Mustang down pit road for service at lap 25. The South Bend, Indiana, native restarted sixth at lap 32 before being shuffled back in the pack halfway through.
The yellow would again display at lap 39 for rain, before it went back green at lap 47. The rain-free run lasted nine laps before a multi-car incident ensued, collecting Newman among a bevy of other cars. The No. 6 team went to work with repairs on pit road, but rain again moved in, this time ending the race ahead of the scheduled distance.
Newman returns to the track in the No. 6 Thursday night for his duel race, which determines his starting spot for the Daytona 500 next Sunday, Feb. 17. Race coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.