Newman Survives For ARCA Win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The ARCA Series kicked off its season Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway, with young Ryan Newman driving car owner Roger Penske's ALLTEL Ford to victory in the Discount Auto Parts 200.

While Newman has plans to run a limited Winston Cup and Busch Series schedule, he might want to consider sticking around the ARCA division considering Sunday’s win was his fourth in only six career series starts.

When Ricky Hendrick didn’t get up to speed on a late restart, Newman pounced on the mistake and never looked back en route to the win.

"Ricky had his misfortune and I was able to get by him," said Newman, considered the driver of the future for team owner Roger Penske. "I’m so happy to be here at Daytona in victory lane. Ricky had a great car, but unfortunately the race played into our hands."

Rounding out the top-five were Bob Strait, Frank Kimmel, Kirk Shelmerdine and Stuart Kirby.

It was a race, to say the least, where bent sheet medal and angry competitors was the norm instead of the exception.

The first yellow flag of the race was thrown before the event reached the 10-lap point when Mark Stahl and Mark Voigt collided on the front straightaway at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Both drivers were knocked from contention.

On lap 18, the caution flag once again was thrown for a three-car wreck involving Ron Cox, Jerry Hill and Ben Hess. It started when Hess got a nudge from behind coming off the fourth turn, leaving nowhere for both Hill and Cox to go.

Instead of going green flag racing on the ensuing restart, it was once again time for a yellow flag when Ed Kennedy did a harmless solo spin through the frontstretch grass to bring out the day’s third caution.

Maybe it was something in the Florida air, but the ARCA drivers were having a hard time getting more than a few green laps under their belts without wrecking because the flagman had to get busy once again on lap 34 when Justin Labonte and Kerry Earnhardt made contact just past the finish line, with Labonte collecting Robert Borroughs to send both cars spinning into the first turn.

Guess what? They kept wrecking.

On a lap 39 restart, seven cars didn’t even make it under the green flag before they wrecked to put the race under yellow flag conditions once again. On the restart it was Ricky Hendrick, who started second, taking the lead for the first.

With only 20 laps to go, the front draft consisted of eight cars, with Hendrick leading Ryan Newman, defending ARCA champion Kimmel, Bobby Gehart, Shelmerdine, Strait, Kirby and Shawna Robinson.

The lead draft got equalized in a hurry when Robby Benton brought out the sixth yellow of the day on lap 63 for a spin off the fourth turn, with Hendrick still in front. The lead would prove to be short-lived as Hendrick got snookered on the restart by Newman who took the lead just seconds before Earnhardt spun coming off the fourth turn.

So that set the stage for the shoe to literally be put on the other foot with Newman, who had taken advantage of the bad restart by Hendrick a few laps earlier, to not make the same mistake himself, which is exactly what the youngster did in dramatic fashion over the closing laps.

Race Center

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@ Kansas Speedway
Friday, October 04, 2013


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