Ryan Newman worked his way from the back of the field for the second straight day to claim a 13th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway. A savvy strategy call in the tail end of the race gave Newman the track position he needed to capitalize on his well-balanced Castrol Ford Mustang.
Newman began the day dropping to the tail end of the field after damage from yesterday’s race forced the No. 6 team to a backup car for the second leg of the Michigan doubleheader. Several
An uneventful first stage saw no cautions, and Newman steadily worked his way up to finish the segment 25th. The stage break gave his team an opportunity to put four fresh tires on his Ford and make minor handling adjustments. Another caution-free segment stalled Newman’s progress as the dirty air in the middle of the field made passing difficult. He would end the second stage in the same position, 25th.
Restarting for the final segment, Newman noted that the team had successfully found the handling balance on his Mustang and he began to work his way forward once again. By the time the first natural caution of the race fell at lap 96, the No. 6 had entered the top 20.
Another caution just nine laps later gave crew chief Scott Graves the opportunity to secure some much-needed track position by taking just two tires and fuel. The strategy play worked out, and Newman restarted 6th with under 50 laps to go. However, the team was just short on fuel and asked the driver to save as he worked to maintain his position.
A caution with 20 laps to go ensured that the team would be safe on fuel, and Newman restarted 16th for the final shootout. He was able to work through a crowded field, and secure the 13th position at the checkered flag.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to action next Sunday, August 16 for NASCAR’s first-ever race at the Daytona International Speedway road course. Coverage begins at 3pm on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.