Ryan Newman must relish his role as the Chase’s stealth bomber.
The championship runner-up by a mere half-second to Kevin Harvick in last year’s season finale, Newman charged to a fourth-place finish in Sunday’s Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway, and did it all in the final five laps.
Newman restarted 14th on Lap 263 of 267 but passed 10 cars to finish fourth.
“Coming from 14th to fourth in five laps was a handful,” said Newman, who advanced to last year’s Championship Round without winning a race. “That last caution played into our favor, for sure. We had a good car all day.
“We weren’t a 14th-place car, which was where we were running for the last restart, but we were able to fight back and finish fourth. I had one bad (restart), but I had a good one when it counted. We’ll just keep digging. That last restart gave us the opportunity, and we took advantage of it.”