Newman Talks About Dover Incident

Ryan Newman

"I was trying to be careful how I took my helmet off because I was kind of a sitting duck sitting in that position." (Photo: Getty Images)


Ryan Newman said he meant to hit David Gilliland during Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway but not crash him, a move that also took Newman out of the race.

Newman explained his side of the crash Monday on SiriusXM’s “Sirius Speedway.’’

Newman and Gilliland crashed on the backstretch, bringing out the caution on lap 301. Both were outside the top 25 at the time of the incident. Newman finished 36th; Gilliland 37th.

Newman did not speak to reporters after the incident. Gilliland spoke briefly.

“We just got wrecked,’’ Gilliland said. “It is a shame. We had a fast race car and a great run going and, unfortunately, someone lost their patience a little bit and we got wrecked.’’

Newman explained the incident to “Sirius Speedway’’ this way:

“David Gilliland and I got to racing for no real good reason other than the fact that I got underneath him a few times, thought I had my power steering back,’’ said Newman, who lost power steering earlier in the race. “I gave him a shot down in (turns) 3 and 4 to let him know, “Hey man little bit of help here.’

“I went underneath him in (turns) 1 and 2 ... and tried to give him a good enough shot to make him realize that I needed this position, and I’m trying to get on with the race and ended up crashing him and myself at the same time.

“After we (hit) the first time in 3 and 4 ... he put his hand out the window down the frontstraightaway and I’m like, “What does he want?’ I didn’t realize it until we talked about it after the race that he had no communication on his radio.’’

After the crash, Gilliland walked to Newman’s car and leaned in to express his displeasure.

“I was trying to get unbuckled,’’ Newman told “Sirius Speedway.’’ “I didn’t really know if he had the desire to throw a punch or anything. I was trying to be careful how I took my helmet off because I was kind of a sitting duck sitting in that position.

“When he walked over I could kind of hear what he was saying. I knew he was frustrated because I was just as frustrated as he was.

“More fault mine than his. In the end, it’s still racing, and it still takes two to tangle. We just kind of had a quick conversation about what happened and that was it. He told me had no radio. I told him I was frustrated and meant to hit him but didn’t mean to crash him.’’

Newman had not been having a good day before the incident, battling handling issues and losing a few spots on pit road before the power steering problems.

“We lost the power steering I think it was about lap 232,’’ Newman said on “Sirius Speedway.’’ “We finally got the second lap down just as the caution (on lap 280) came out. We came down pit road and put some power steering fluid in it and never did really find what the problem was.

“They (team) told me to drop to the back of the field (for the restart). I didn’t realize there were so many wave-around cars because I did drop to the back of the field and then I had guys that pulled over. I think I passed two or three cars and then (the team) said one more time to drop back to the back of the field. We’re getting ready to go green and this is in the middle of (turns) 3 and 4. Bobby Labonte in the 47 came by. He was trying to get his position and basically sideswiped us and knocked the left front fender into the tire, which made me have a tire rub for the next seven or eight laps.’’

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