Newman takes Brickyard 400 victory

Newman takes Brickyard 400 victory

Cup Series

Newman takes Brickyard 400 victory


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      +24.510s
10.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +24.731s
11.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                   +30.939s
12.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet              +31.285s
13.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford                +32.243s
14.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet          +32.820s
15.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet      +34.322s
16.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                       +35.042s
17.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                       +35.227s
18.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +35.720s
19.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet              +38.650s
20.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                   +40.274s
21.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                      +40.944s
22.  AJ Almendinger      Phoenix Chevrolet                +48.946s
23.  Mark Martin         Waltrip Toyota                   +50.083s
24.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford                  +1 lap
25.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford                  +1 lap
26.  Austin Dillon       Childress Chevrolet                +1 lap
27.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                       +1 lap
28.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford                 +1 lap
29.  David Reutimann     BK Toyota                         +2 laps
30.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet            +2 laps
31.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                         +2 laps
32.  Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                      +3 laps
33.  Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevrolet            +3 laps
34.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford                    +3 laps
35.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                    +3 laps
36.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota              +3 laps
37.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet                 +4 laps
38.  Jose Wise           Front Row Ford                    +4 laps
39.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet                 +4 laps
40.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                       +9 laps
41.  Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                     +14 laps
42.  Timmy Hill          FAS Lane Ford                    +79 laps
43.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet              +90 laps