With only two races to go before the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup begins, competition on the track is at fever pitch, making for some nail-biting action for both competitors and spectators. More than 100,000 fans showed up to watch Saturday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway and saw Matt Kenseth take the checkered flag for the fifth time this season, with Kasey Kahne close behind, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano in the top five places. That Kahne didn’t make first place was not for lack of trying as he repeatedly tried to pass Kenseth in the last twelve laps of the race, but it was not to be as Kenseth pushed ahead for the win.
Some keen followers of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series appeared to anticipate that Kahne may wreck Kenseth in retaliation for being wrecked by him earlier in the season at Watkins glen, but in a post-race interview Kahne noted that he just doesn’t wreck people and tried to pass as clean as he could, voicing some frustration that he had not been able to make it happen. Nonetheless, he achieved a finish, and in a good position, putting him 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings.
The top twelve in the Sprint cup standings at present are:
1. Jimmie Johnson – #48 Chevrolet – 821 points
2. Clint Bowyer – #15 Toyota – 803 points
3. Carl Edwards – #99 Ford – 768 points
4. Kevin Harvick – #29 Chevrolet – 760 points
5. Kyle Busch – #18 Toyota – 739 points
6. Matt Kenseth – #20 Toyota – 736 points
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – #88 Chevrolet – 714 points
8. Kasey Kahne – #5 Chevrolet – 701 points
9. Greg Biffle – #16 Ford – 698 points
10. Joey Logano – #22 Ford – 685 points
11. Brad Keselowski – #2 Ford – 681 points
12. Kurt Busch – #78 Chevrolet – 679 points
Describing his Brickyard 400 win at Indianapolis as a “dream come true”, Ryan Newman’s victory could not have come at a better time for the NASCAR driver who found out two weeks ago that there won’t be a spot for him at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. While uncertainty about the future remains a concern for Newman, he savored his victory as he carried out the tradition of kissing the yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with his wife and daughters at his side. Jimmie Johnson was 2.657 seconds behind Newman, with Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch (in order) making up the top ten winners of the race.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, on December 8, 1977, Ryan Joseph Newman currently drives the #39 Chevrolet SS for Stewart Haas Racing. As with many NASCAR drivers, Newman made his racing debut in midget racing, winning both Rookie of the Year and the All-American Midget Series in 1993. With 100 feature wins and two titles, Newman earned a place in the Quarter Midget Hall of Fame, before moving on to USAC.
In 2004, by finishing seventh in points, with two wins and nine poles, Newman qualified for the inaugural NASCAR Chase for the Cup. In the 2005 Chase he won six of the nine races he entered, of which five were consecutive. With no victories in 2006, Newman finished 18th in points, and his winless streak continued through 2007, despite the fact that he claimed three consecutive poles. Driving for Penske, he won the 2008 Daytona 500, notching up the first Daytona 500 win for the team.
In 2009, Newman left Penske for the newly formed Stewart Haas Racing, and claimed a spot in the Chase, his first since 2005. He won the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway in 2010 and in 2011 took the checkered flag at New Hampshire in the Lenox Industrial Tools, with teammate Tony Stewart taking second place. The 16th win of Newman’s career came on April 1, 2012, at Martinsville Speedway in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Newman scored his first 2013 win at the Brickyard 400 – on his home turf.