Newman Not Giving Up Hope

Ryan Newman

Ryan Newman has scored four top-10 finishes in the last five races. (Photo: Getty Images)

Ryan Newman is determined to make an impact in this year’s Sprint Cup Series championship picture.

Even though Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch have pulled away from the pack, Newman believes there is plenty of time for that to change before the championship is decided next month.

“Well, I think it is a three-man race right now,” Newman admitted. “But, I don’t think it can’t be a four-, five- or six-man race by the time we get to Homestead.”

While the top trio has started the Chase with solid finishes, Newman knows the opposite can happen during the next seven races.

“We didn’t have a great race at New Hampshire a few weeks back, so we gave up quite a few points right there,” he said, referring to his 16th-place finish. “Who’s to say those guys won’t find themselves having an off-race like that just the way we did? There are so many laps, so many opportunities for guys to make mistakes that I feel like it’s too early to be talking about it.”

Newman enters this weekend’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway seventh in the standings, 48 points behind leader Kenseth. Newman is not hitting the panic button.

“We’re not going to get too worked up just yet,” he said. “The bottom line is I can’t make the racecar any faster than we are currently making it go.

“A lot can happen in seven races. We have to be in position, should they have misfortune, where we can capitalize on it.”

Newman’s next opportunity comes Sunday at the 1.5-mile Kansas track where he finished 14th in April.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver expects high speeds again and is hoping some testing time there will help.

“We did the tire test at Kansas a few months ago and it hasn’t changed much,” he said. “It’s still super-fast. I don’t think the variable banking has really come into play, quite yet, but we’ll see if that changes by the time we unload there this weekend.

“There were three grooves where we could actually race each other. If we can get to those conditions Friday before we race rather than Sunday after we’ve raced, it’s going to make a world of difference. I think it’s all going to depend on how the rubber lays down, how fast the track is, and if we get to sliding around in practice and widening out the groove to see if the track will have changed for the racing conditions on Sunday.”

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 beginning at 1 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Ryan Newman

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