Ryan Newman appeared poised to claim a solid top-15 finish after battling through tire issues at Michigan International Speedway, but an unavoidable incident just in front of his No. 6 Coca-Cola Ford Mustang with just four laps to go relegated him to a 28th-place finish.
Newman drew the 13th starting spot for the race, but a pre-race penalty forced him and teammate Chris Buescher to begin the 312-mile race from the tail end of the field. Newman advanced quickly through the field at the drop of the green flag, rising to 29th by the lap 15 competition caution.
The team hit pit road for four tires and fuel, and made minor adjustments to help with the handling of the Ford. On the race restart, Newman noted that the balance of the car had improved and he worked his way to the 22nd position by the end of the first stage.
During the second stage of the race, Newman began to complain of a bouncing sensation and a vibration in his tires. The condition worsened, leading Newman to come to pit road on lap 74 for an unscheduled pit stop. He would lose a lap to the leaders, and finished the stage 34th. Newman was one of several drivers to take advantage of the wave around during the stage break to get back on the lead lap.
When a caution came out shortly after the start of the final stage, crew chief Scott Graves brought Newman down pit road for a long pit stop to replace four tires and repair a small amount of damage in the quarter panel of the Ford that caused the earlier vibration.
With the obstruction removed, Newman began to power his way up the field. He would work his way up as high as 17th with laps dwindling, when he made a move to the high side of the track and was caught up in a wreck that happened just in front. Unable to avoid damage, he was forced to pit road for repairs. With the race going to NASCAR Overtime, Newman restarted 30th and was able to work his way to 28th before the checkered flag three laps later.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to action at Michigan International Raceway tomorrow, Sunday, August 9 at 4:30 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.