Ryan Newman made the biggest gain in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings following his fifth-place finish in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.
Newman came into the second race of playoffs 13th in the standings and now sits ninth, 14 points above the cutoff. He joins Kevin Harvick as the only drivers that have finished in the top 10 in each of the last three races this season.
After climbing out of the No. 6 Ford, Newman said this was the best performance of the year for the team.
“Yeah, without a doubt,” Newman said. “The best team performance all-around throughout the entire weekend. We failed at qualifying. We got the car too tight, but, overall, just a great team effort to get the Roush Performance Ford a good run.”
Newman was bumped up one position in the final rundown after the fourth-place car of Erik Jones failed post-race inspection.
In Stage 2 of the race, Newman recorded stage points and was the top closer in the last 10 percent of the race based on NASCAR Loop Data.
“The strategy wasn’t a whole lot to it, just put four tires on, but had a good short-run car,” Newman said. “One time we had a good long-run car, but we could never get both. I think that if we would have had both we could have ran with those guys, but we were at our best probably when we were just hold good bias to a long-run car, but who would have known there were gonna be that many green flag runs.”
The finish was Newman’s second top five and 11th top 10 of the season. He also finished in the top 10 in the spring at Richmond.
“What meant to me the most probably was just being better than we were the first (Richmond) race,” Newman said. “We ran ninth in the first race and qualified 30th or something like that and we came back and showed that we were learning and we’ll keep learning.”