Track position proved to be the key to the race, as Ryan Newman drove his No. 6 Roush Performance Ford to a 17th -place finish in Thursday night’s 208-lap race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Originally scheduled to be run on Wednesday, Newman started 27th based off his finish in Sunday’s Coke 600. The 310-mile event was again affected by weather just after the green flag dropped, causing an hour-plus lightning and rain delay.
With a competition caution at lap 20, Newman was 24th and reporting the balance was nearly dialed in aboard his Roush Performance machine. The red flag was displayed a few laps later at lap 30, in what resulted in a delay of 75 minutes.
Once track-drying efforts were complete, Newman fired off 20th for the restart at lap 24, the same position he would end the stage in by lap 55. Following service on pit road, he restarted 19th for stage two.
Newman received a tire rub on the left rear on the ensuing restart that would last for several laps, before the yellow came back out at lap 73. With the top-15 cars staying out under the yellow, Newman fired off 24th at lap 78, and powered his way to 16th by lap 84, before going on to finish the stage in 23rd.
After starting the final stage in 15th, the handling unfortunately went away aboard Newman’s machine as the race ran caution-free and he crossed the line 17th.
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway for 500 laps at ‘The World’s Fastest Half Mile.’ Race coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.