Perseverance was the name of the game in Sunday’s 500-lap race from Bristol Motor Speedway, as Ryan Newman battled to the end in the Castrol Ford to earn a 15th-place finish.
After starting 17th on the grid, Newman overcame two solo spins – one early and one late – and bounced back from an ill-handling machine to record the top-15. With competition cautions slated for laps 20 and 60, teams played varying strategies, as the traction compound had to work into play over the course of the 266 miles.
Newman’s first spin came at lap seven, where he took advantage of an early pit stop for adjustments on the No. 6 Mustang. With a large chunk of cars pitting at the ensuing competition yellow at lap 20, Newman stayed out, gaining track position up to 16th by lap 29.
He ran 17th at the next yellow at lap 60, and after service on pit road restarted 27th. He went on to finish the opening stage in 29th, battling a tight-handling machine.
After firing off 27th in the second stage, Newman eased his way inside the top-20 for a restart at lap 207, but again fell a few positions battling the handling. At lap 229 a multi-car incident occurred, with Newman avoiding the chaos in 27th.
After the red was lifted, Newman restarted 24th for a 15-lap shootout to the stage end and worked his way to 18th by lap 250 following another quick yellow. Halfway home to 500 laps, strategy came into play as a host of cars stayed out, putting Newman seventh on the restart to begin the final stage.
He maintained the 10th spot for the first few laps of the run, before teammate Chris Buescher caught the wall at lap 268. By lap 300 Newman ran 18th and worked his way to 15th for a restart at lap 334 after continued service on his Ford to fine tune the handling.
Twenty laps later, Newman spun on his own from the 20th spot, reporting he had no turn in the center and was loose in. From there, he ran 18th with 100 to go as the handling went to a loose condition. He would restart 11th with 61 laps to go, before getting pushed up the track by the No. 2 machine, causing slight cosmetic damage.
The team would spend the remaining laps battling for position, ultimately crossing the finish line 15th.
With the first midweek off since NASCAR’s return to racing, the NASCAR Cup Series has a full week break this week, before heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway next Sunday. Race coverage begins from Atlanta at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.