Ryan Newman picked up valuable stage points in stage two of Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway before going to finish 11th in his Acronis Ford Mustang, maintaining his 15th position in the points standings.
A key strategy call near the end of the second stage allowed Newman to remain on track, before going on to cross the line third, earning eight stage points. Combine that with the 11th-place run and Newman walked away from ‘The World’s Fastest Half Mile’ with 34 overall points, remaining above the playoff cutline with now two races left in the regular season.
The South Bend, Indiana, native rolled off the grid 14th in his No. 6 Mustang, just in front of teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Early on Newman battled tight conditions before the first yellow was displayed at lap 79. After a pair of adjustments to help free him up, Newman restarted 13th but reported he was just as tight to finish the stage 17th.
He rolled off 15th for the second 125-lap segment, but from there began charging his way forward. The yellow came out at lap 189, meaning Newman would pit for four fresh tires and adjustments, which set him up for the remainder of the stage. After the yellow was again displayed a pair of times at lap 212 and 242, crew chief Scott Graves called for Newman to stay out and the call paid off as Newman held his ground finishing third in stage two.
After service on his Acronis Ford under the stage break, he would line back up 17th for stage three. The next caution flag would not come until lap 362, but it came at just the right time as Newman had just lost a lap to the leaders. He was the recipient of the free pass and after service on pit road, found himself 13th on the restart with 130 laps to go.
The final yellow of the night would fly at lap 379 when Newman once again pitted for four fresh tires and fuel, before this time restarting 10th. Over the course of the final 113 laps, the field was strung out again and only seven cars finished on the lead lap with Newman crossing the line 11th.
Following an off weekend for the Cup series, Newman and the No. 6 team return to the track Labor Day weekend for the NASCAR Throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway. Race coverage on Sunday, Sept. 1, begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and MRN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.