Ryan Newman was in a position to fight for the transfer spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs when he made one last mistake at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
With less than three laps remaining, Newman locked up the tires going into the backstretch chicane and ran over the curbing, which NASCAR officials deemed was cutting the chicane.
However, Newman did not serve the required stop-and-go penalty, which then resulted in a 30-second penalty at the end of the race. In turn, he was relegated to a 32nd-place finish and exclusion from the Round of 12 by 16 points.
“That was not the only mistake I made, and I don’t know that it was actually what took us out, but in the end just proud of the guys,” Newman said. “I let us down on pit road, we had one bad pit stop (stalling the car). Just lots of little things today, but I felt like I made a lot of mistakes trying too hard. We did not have the race car and that’s what I had to do.
“I felt like we were in a position at one point and then just got to trying too hard, trying to keep the 10 car (Aric Almirola) behind us and missed the curbs, and that was unfortunate. … Proud of everybody at Roush Fenway for the fight and the opportunity that they’ve given me. We’re not done, we’re just out at this point.”
Asked about the chicane rule, Newman replied, “I really don’t like this race track at all, so asking me about the chicane is not gonna narrow it down.”
Although he admitted they “just didn’t have it” all weekend to advance in the playoffs, Newman praised the work of everyone on the No. 6 Ford team. It was deemed a surprise by some when he qualified for the postseason and Newman was above the cutline (by 14 points) to start the day.
However, he said it was a struggle all weekend, and he qualified 24th. Newman also didn’t score any stage points, which only made his task more onerous. In the end, nothing went his way while the other contenders performed better. The Hendrick Motorsports teams had a better road course package, and his team just didn’t do a “good enough job, period.”
“I didn’t carry the team on my back,” Newman responded when asked how he felt about doing so. “We worked together. They carried me, I carried them at times, and it’s a team effort. It was a team effort today that failed, but it’s still a team effort, and I’m just really proud of everybody’s hard work.
“We’re not done. We’re gonna keep digging. We’ve got some stuff up our sleeve for later in this playoff and we’ll do what we can to try to get (higher in points).”