Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 10th in the AdvoCare 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.
Newman started 17th in the 43-car field and led three times for 31 laps en route to recording his ninth top-10 in 23 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1-mile oval and 18th top-10 finish of the 2013 season.
Newman struggled throughout the first 140 laps with a racecar that was tight in the center of the corners but loose on the exit. He was able to maintain his position until a well-timed caution period on lap 144. Having already been to pit road on lap 132, Newman and crew chief Matt Borland agreed to stay on the racetrack while the drivers that had not stopped under the previous caution came in for their scheduled service. The move saw Newman advance to the third position for the lap 158 restart. He would take the lead on lap 190, holding the point for 25 laps.
As long green-flag runs and varying pit strategies saw the running order constantly jumbled over the second half of the 312-lap race, Newman’s Quicken Loans Chevrolet was scored as low as 19th and as high as first on two additional occasions. While leading the race under green-flag conditions, Newman came to pit road for scheduled service on lap 274. He ran out of fuel as he entered pit road but was able to coast to his pit box.
“We had a good strategy, but we ran out of fuel coming to pit road,” Newman said. “We had an opportunity to make something of it, but running out of fuel cost us four or five spots. That was probably the difference between us finishing fifth to where we actually finished, in 10th.”
Newman was scored 19th after the miscue but was able to climb to the 10th position, where he would take the checkered flag, over the final 30 laps of the penultimate race of the 2013 season.