Ryan Newman earned his second top-10 in as many races Saturday night under the lights at Kentucky Speedway, crossing the line ninth after leading 15 laps in his Acorns Ford Mustang.
“I think we got five or six cars there coming to the white,” Newman said. “It was a good run for our Acorns Ford. We still have to get our performance better. The guys did a good job on pit lane but we just have to have faster race cars.”
Newman earned his seventh overall top-10 of the season, advancing through the field after starting from the rear for failing pre-race tech. Pit strategy played a factor in the final 50 laps as Newman led the field for 15 laps under green.
Early on Newman battled tight conditions in his No. 6 Ford ending the opening stage in 20th. After pitting under yellow at lap 48, Newman was on pit strategy and remained on track for the stage break setting him up third for the stage two start.
He maintained the top-five position by lap 100, riding fourth reporting he was still tight in his Acorns Ford. He hit pit road at lap 117 for four tires and adjustments in what was his final stop of the stage. By lap 140 he rode 27th, reporting he was loose, but cycled back to 13th after green-flag stops at the end of the stage.
The South Bend, Indiana, native brought his machine down pit road again under the break, taking more adjustments and tires. He went on to restart 14th for the final stage and maintained the spot when the yellow was displayed again at lap 179.
Following another stop for two tires and fuel he lined back up 15th at lap 184. By lap 200 Newman ran 13th, but quickly began advancing his way through after green-flag stops started. He was up to fourth by lap 227 and five laps later took the lead. He would go on to lead for 15 laps before hitting pit road at lap 245 for fuel only.
Newman cycled back into the top-10 with 17 to go, but with six to go the caution came out for a spin. With varying strategies in play, Newman stayed out and powered his way to a ninth-place finish in NASCAR overtime.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to the track next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Race coverage on Sunday begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.