Sprint Cup Recap — Brickyard 400
Ryan Newman has won the Daytona 500, but Sunday the Indiana native kissed the bricks at his home track, winning the Samuel Deeds 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A late race pit blunder by Jimmie Johnson’s crew cost the #48 a chance at another Brickyard title and opened the door for Newman, who held off Johnson during the closing laps to score the victory.
“Starting on pole and winning the race…just an awesome day for us,” Newman said. “This is a dream come true for me.”
The win has to be sweeter for Newman given his current employment situation. Nearly a month ago Newman learned of the impending shift at Stewart-Haas Racing, with Kevin Harvick stepping into the seat of the #39 car.
Clearly, adding a win at Indy to the resume can’t hurt his chances at finding a ride.
“Obviously, it helps,” Newman said. “The emotions have been an absolute roller coaster, no doubt. I got fired a couple of weeks ago and come back here and win the pole and win the race, and it’s all because of hard effort.”
Newman and Johnson paced the field all day, and just as it looked like we would get a showdown in the final laps, Johnson’s final pit stop cost him over five seconds. Newman won the race by just 2.657 seconds.
“There’s definitely disappointment there,” Johnson said. “But that’s racing. It happens. I’ve given away a few out there this year, too.”
With his chase spot secured, Johnson simply cares about wins at this point in the season, and he has to be upset at the chance to gain extra bonus points for another win, especially after squandering opportunities at Dover and Kentucky earlier in the year.
Here’s what else we learned at Indy:
Stewart and Newman are still friends. Heck, I’d be friends with the guy, too if he just won Indy in my racecar. Regardless, Stewart said after the race he wanted to congratulate Newman, and both drivers maintain they’re still close friends despite the upcoming break-up.
Drivers should announce they’re out of a ride. With Brian Vickers future up in the air, he sealed the deal with Michael Waltrip Racing by winning at New Hampshire. For Ryan Newman, this year has been a struggle. But, three weeks after finding out he’s getting the boot, he gets a dream-come-true type win in Indy. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe Tony should fire Danica, too?