After starting inside the top-10 for Sunday afternoon’s Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Ryan Newman fell behind due to handling issues to finish 22nd in his Performance Plus Ford Mustang.
“We just struggled with the handling all day and once we fell a lap off the pace it was hard to make up ground,” Newman said. “Our team worked hard all weekend and we showed some good speed, so we’ll take that as a positive and move on to Martinsville next week.”
Newman rolled off the grid seventh after Friday’s interesting qualifying session saw no cars turn a lap in the final round. The starting lineup reverted back to the round two results, putting Newman seventh for Sunday’s green flag.
The first yellow of the day waved at lap 55, at which point Newman was 24th, one lap down to the leaders. After service on his No. 6 Ford Mustang, the 2008 Daytona 500 Champion lined back up in the same spot for the restart before finishing the stage 26th.
He restarted stage two 25th and worked his way to 23rd by lap 100. He would end the stage 23rd, still battling loose conditions. After more adjustments under the stage break, Newman rolled back off 22nd before the run went green for the next 35 laps. With Newman on pit road for service at lap 161, the caution was displayed putting him two laps off the pace.
He eventually took the wave around on the restart before the duration of the afternoon went all green as Newman crossed the line 22nd.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to action next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Race coverage begins Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.