Rookie Award To Newman

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Ryan Newman wrapped up one of the most exciting Rookie of the Year battles in NASCAR history by beating Jimmie Johnson for the title on Sunday.

The award came down to a combination of race results and a vote by a four-member panel on a variety of on- and off-track issues. Newman edged Johnson by 23 points.

"I'm happy about it, as much for myself as for the entire team," Newman said. "I'm glad we were able to compete the entire year, and even be in the running for the championship."

Newman said it was the fifth rookie title he has won, and that he has earned one on every level he has competed.

Johnson won three races this season -- tying Tony Stewart's mark for most wins by a rookie -- and finished fifth in points. Newman had one win and was sixth in points, seven points behind Johnson. But he also had a record six poles.

"I'm a little bummed out right now," Johnson said. "All in all, it's been an incredible year. We got a top-five and we'll go from here."

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