Newman Powers to Fourth in Wild Daytona Ending
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 29, 2021) – 400 miles once again proved to not be quite enough at Daytona International Speedway as Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 went into NASCAR Overtime. Ryan Newman made the most of the extra laps and powered to a fourth-place run.
Several late pileups collected a large part of the field, but Newman kept the nose of his Coke Zero Sugar Ford Mustang clean, ultimately weaving through the last-lap chaos to record his second top-five finish of the season. The run marked his best Daytona finish since the 2008 Daytona 500 win, and seventh top-10 at ‘The World Center of Racing.’
Newman employed a familiar Superspeedway strategy, keeping his Ford near the rear of the field for much of the evening. After rolling off 23rd for the scheduled 160-lap event, Newman started his strategy play, rounding out 29th by the end of the first stage at lap 50.
The second segment saw just one yellow flag, but was otherwise fairly quick as Newman maintained his position in 29th, setting up a dramatic final 60 laps. After restarting 34th at lap 105, he joined his Ford Performance teammates on pit road at lap 124 for a fuel-only stop, and benefitted from the strategy as a majority of the field hadn’t pitted by the next yellow just 16 laps later.
Newman would restart inside the top-15 before a multi-car pileup sent the race to red flag conditions at lap 145. He made it through unscathed and pitted one final time once the race went back to yellow, and slowly inched his way towards the front over the final few laps, ultimately driving to a fourth-place run.
Darlington Raceway is the next stop for the NASCAR Cup Series, which hosts its annual fall event next Sunday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.
UPDATE: It was reported by NASCAR that Roush Fenway driver Chris Buescher’s car failed post-race inspection and was disqualified from the event for an alleged track bar mounting assembly that did not conform to the rule specifications. Newman’s finish was officially changed to third place.