Ryan Newman and the No. 6 team battled back from an early deficit to record a 10th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon in the Blue Bird Ford Mustang.
“We just got out-tired there at the end,” Newman said after the race. “Those other guys had tires and we didn’t and it didn’t work out the best for us. It was a challenge. Our pit stops were awesome today. That made a big difference and we just came up short.”
Newman qualified 27th in the yellow No. 6 Ford, matching that of the iconic school bus brand Blue Bird, but started at the rear of the field after failing pre-race technical inspection Sunday morning. It took an opening stage to break inside the top-20, but from there the team continued their upward trend en route to their 13th top-10 of 2019.
After concluding stage one 22nd in which he went a lap down to the leaders, Newman lined back up 18th for stage two after the team made adjustments to try and tighten up his Ford Mustang. As the second stage began the South Bend, Indiana, native was in the free pass position, and he was the recipient of it after the caution came out at lap 177.
From there, Newman pitted again for service and restarted 16th, back on the lead lap, as the race went green to lap 250 from that point. He would pit again for service and no adjustments, before lining back up 12th on the restart with three to go in the stage, where he would finish at the end of 260 laps.
The 2012 Martinsville winner rolled off 11th for the final stage and from there would begin his charge inside the top-10. He broke through at lap 285 picking off the 10th spot, before going on to restart eighth at lap 352. Newman’s final pit stop of the day came with 50 laps to go, and he fired off seventh on the ensuing restart.
Two more yellows were displayed in the closing laps, and Newman got up to sixth with 35 to go before the No. 18 made contact causing left rear damage, but Newman was able to fend off the field crossing the line 10th.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to action next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Race coverage on Sunday begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.