Newman Rallies to Finish 15th in Darlington
DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 6, 2020) – Ryan Newman and his team appeared to have played the strategy in Sunday night’s Southern 500 to perfection, until a late caution for debris on the track threw a figurative wrench into their plans. The team persevered through the setback and tuned up the No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford for a late-lap dash to the checkered flag and a solid 15th-place finish.
Newman started the race from the 31st position based on NASCAR’s new formula to set the starting order. Unfazed, the veteran driver immediately began picking up spots on the track and was up to 25th by the scheduled lap 25 competition caution. The break in the action gave the team an opportunity to tighten up the handling of the Mustang. Newman reported the changes made helped his drive and he would finish the first stage of the race 21st.
The second segment of the race would run mostly green, save one caution on lap 179 just after the team hit pit road for a green flag stop. The handling on the No. 6 Ford continued to improve, and Newman would work his way up to 14th by the end of the second stage.
During the stage break, Newman was forced to hit pit road a second time for the team to make sure all five lugnuts on each tire were secure. A caution came out just after the start of the final stage, with Newman in 23rd, giving the team an opportunity to split the stage and only pit one more time with a majority of the field electing to pit twice. The driver patiently worked his way through the field on the strategy, finally pitting from 7th on lap 301.
Unfortunately for the team, a caution flag for debris on the race track flew just 19 laps later, upending their plans. Newman hit pit road with the rest of the field for a final fill up and adjustments, and took the green flag from 21st with 40 laps to go. He reported that the car drove the best it had all night, and he systematically worked his way through competitors to finish 15th.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to track at Richmond Raceway on Saturday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.