Season Best for Newman
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on June 28, 2014 | 11:30 P.M. EST
Newman scored his best finish since coming home third last September at Richmond, when he was a member of Stewart-Haas Racing. (Photo: Getty Images)
SPARTA, Ky. - Ryan Newman’s third-place finish in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway was his best effort of the 2014 season.
Newman scored his best finish since coming home third last September at Richmond, when he was a member of Stewart-Haas Racing.
Saturday night Newman piloted his Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet to its first top-five since Jeff Burton finished third at New Hampshire last July.
“Really just a good, solid run,” Newman said. “We had some really good pit stops, gained some track positions there. Caught a little bit of a break when the caution came out when we were on pit road. I think we went from fourth to second on that deal. Just a good, solid night for the Caterpillar Chevrolet.”
While Newman has been consistent in the first half of the season and stayed inside the top 10 of the Sprint Cup Series point standings in recent weeks, a run like the one he turned in at Kentucky certainly helps in the confidence department.
“It's nice for us on the ‘31’ side to get a top five, and it's something to build on for sure,” he said. “It doesn't mean we're going to go out and win the next race, but it gives us some confidence, and confidence is very powerful in our sport.”
Newman’s finish was the fourth top five of the season for RCR with the first three coming with Paul Menard, who finished third at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I hope it translates,” Newman said about tonight’s success on an intermediate track. “And I think it will. I think we’ve got some stuff coming. Pocono and Indy are a couple of races that I really look forward to.
"Pocono, Indy, Michigan, even places like Charlotte now are so much wide open because the cars have still got too much downforce on them that it's very important to have good horsepower, and good horsepower will win you races. We're working on that part of it for Indy and for Pocono and for Michigan. I think we're not where we need to be, but that's why we're working on it, and we'll see if we can make those gains before those races come."