In a 325-lap race that featured just two natural cautions, Ryan Newman picked off multiple positions in the closing laps to cross the line 14th in his Progressive Ford Mustang at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Despite an early speeding penalty – which came on one of three green-flag stops throughout the day – Newman battled back from an ill-handling machine to record the top-15 result, his second straight and fourth since the return to racing. As the laps faded with numerous cars on very old tires, many were forced to pit, but Newman prevailed for the solid result.
Newman – a winner of seven poles at Atlanta – drew 17th in the random draw for starting positions. NASCAR once again set a competition caution for lap 25 with no prior practice or qualifying.
He ran 16th at the time of that yellow, reporting he was too loose early in the Progressive Ford. After service under the break to tighten his machine up, Newman fired off 16th in the stage, which spanned 105 laps. His first green-flag stop came at lap 65 – the first car to hit pit road in the sequence – when he was tabbed for speeding, resulting in a pass-through penalty.
A later yellow at lap 94 would allow Newman to take the wave around, putting him back on the lead lap. He finished the stage 26th, setting up the second 105-lap stage. After firing off too loose, Newman again pitted under green at lap 157 from the 19th position, as the team continued work to tighten up his Ford Mustang.
The race’s final natural yellow flag waved at lap 201 – nine laps prior to the stage end – with Newman running 20th. After a stop for further adjustments, Newman restarted 19th and crossed the line 18th in the stage.
Newman began the final segment 20th, reporting his car had turned to the tight side with 100 to go. After a series of laps under green, the balance ultimately came to Newman as he picked off the final few spots in the closing laps to finish 14th.
The NASCAR Cup Series is back to work in just three short days at Martinsville Speedway Wednesday night. Race coverage kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on FS1. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.