Newman takes Brickyard 400 victory

Newman takes Brickyard 400 victory

Cup Series

Newman takes Brickyard 400 victory

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Ryan Newman defeated Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.

Johnson looked to be on the cusp of taking a record fifth Indy win for much of the afternoon, having jumped polesitter Newman in the first pit stops.

The job-hunting Newman then began a valiant chase. The pair were as much as 13 seconds clear of the field at times, as Newman did his utmost not to let Johnson escape.

The biggest gap between them came when Newman took on four new tires at a juncture when most picked two, leaving him down in 13th, although he quickly carved back through the field onto Johnson’s tail.

At the crucial final stops, Newman went the opposite way, taking only two tires as the majority went for four. Coupled with a slow stop for Johnson, that vaulted Newman seven seconds ahead of his rival.

Johnson got that gap down to 3sec but could close no further, as Newman clinched his first Indianapolis win and gave his 2014 job prospects a big boost.

“I watched Jimmie, kept quiet…played the old Pearson role,” said Newman. “I knew I had a good car. Matt’s call gave me the track position I needed, taking the two tires. I was just counting down the laps from that point on.

“I knew a lot of guys needed to pit. I didn’t know how far back Jimmie was. He said four seconds at that point.  I knew I had to manage my racecar and my tires. I knew it was so difficult to pass. His car was looking looser and looser as I ran behind him.”

Johnson agreed that track position had been a key factor.

“My times that I caught lap traffic or had to pass someone for position, it took a lot of risk to get that done,” he related. “We maintained great track position through the bulk of the race. Then there at the end we had a little mistake on pit road, the 39 took two where we took four. Once I got back to the track, I had a lot of distance to make up.

“I got within probably three seconds, beat myself up pretty bad. I think Ryan was being smart, too. Once I got to a certain distance, I believe he decided to go 100%. He had plenty of speed today.”

Kasey Kahne shadowed Hendrick teammate Johnson over the line for third.

Newman’s current team boss Tony Stewart was a lonely fourth, followed by Joe Gibbs Toyota driver Matt Kenseth in the top non-Chevrolet.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. recovered from going a lap down with a loose wheel early on to chase Kenseth home in sixth, with fellow Hendrick man Jeff Gordon on his tail.

Penske tried a few alternate strategies but had to settle for a few spells in the lead and eighth for Joey Logano and 21st for champion Brad Keselowski. Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.

Results - 160 laps:Pos  Driver              Team/Car                         Time/Gap 1.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       2h36m22.000s 2.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet                +2.658s 3.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet                +3.183s 4.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet           +15.465s 5.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +21.579s 6.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet               +22.377s 7.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet               +22.473s 8.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                      +23.539s 9.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet      +24.510s10.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +24.731s11.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                   +30.939s12.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet              +31.285s13.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford                +32.243s14.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet          +32.820s15.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet      +34.322s16.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                       +35.042s17.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                       +35.227s18.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +35.720s19.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet              +38.650s20.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                   +40.274s21.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                      +40.944s22.  AJ Almendinger      Phoenix Chevrolet                +48.946s23.  Mark Martin         Waltrip Toyota                   +50.083s24.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford                  +1 lap25.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford                  +1 lap26.  Austin Dillon       Childress Chevrolet                +1 lap27.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                       +1 lap28.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford                 +1 lap29.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                         +2 laps30.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet            +2 laps31.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                         +2 laps32.  Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                      +3 laps33.  Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevrolet            +3 laps34.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford                    +3 laps35.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                    +3 laps36.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota              +3 laps37.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet                 +4 laps38.  Jose Wise           Front Row Ford                    +4 laps39.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet                 +4 laps40.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                       +9 laps41.  Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                     +14 laps42.  Timmy Hill          FAS Lane Ford                    +79 laps43.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet              +90 laps

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