Ryan Newman picked off multiple positions in the closing laps of Sunday’s 400-mile race from Kentucky Speedway, to finish 17th in the Acronis Ford Mustang.
Newman – who finished ninth at the 1.5-mile track a season ago – came to the green-white-checkered restart in the 23rd spot, but powered his way forward – picking up six positions in the closing two laps.
After rolling off 13th following the random draw, Newman ran 23rd at the time of the competition caution at lap 25. He would end stage one in 25th and was the recipient of the free pass – one of three occasions on the day – before pitting for service to try and tighten up his Acronis machine.
The South Bend, Indiana, native fired off 24th for the stage two green flag, and maintained the spot 40 laps into the run. As green-flag stops began to cycle, Newman hit pit road at lap 145 for two tires, before the caution came out a short time later at lap 154. Newman, in 24th, was again awarded the free pass. He went on to finish the stage in 23rd, where he stayed out for valuable track position.
Newman restarted 17th for the final stage, one that ran 100 laps. Green flag stops again came into play, this time as Newman ran 18th at lap 219. A yellow flag would again follow the stop, with Newman staying out but ineligible for the wave around. An immediate caution came out at lap 244, putting the Acronis Ford back on the lead lap. A pair of yellows came out in the final 20 laps, setting Newman up for the final run during the closing laps to tally the 17th-place finish.
Next up, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the 2020 All-Star Race, where Newman has an automatic bid by virtue of his win in the event back in 2002. Race coverage for the All-Star Open – which will feature teammate Chris Buescher – begins at 7 p.m. ET on FS1. The All-Star Race is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, also on FS1. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.