All of the naysayers, all of the doubters and all of the people who said the move to Roush Fenway Racing was a career-ending move for Ryan Newman are all eating crow after the driver had his strongest effort of the season in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.
To those doubters, who are wondering, Newman doesn’t care what you think.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Newman said. “I just try real hard and these guys try real hard on this team.”
Newman, 41, drove with poise on Saturday night and showcased enough speed in his No. 6 Ford Mustang to actually pass Kyle Busch for third position at one point in the Final Stage of the race.
Eventually, Newman would settle for a fifth-place finish (he crossed the line in sixth, but Erik Jones, who finished fourth, was disqualified after his car failed post-race inspection).
“Well, I’m proud of our finish,” Newman stated with pride. “I’m proud of the teamwork. We did get some Stage Points, which has been our weakness all season.”
It was another strong effort which equated to his third-consecutive top-10 finish. That matches the Indiana native’s longest stretch of finishing inside the top-10 of 2019. The recent surge in performance has come at just the right time — the Playoffs. While Newman still didn’t win a race, he walks out of Richmond knowing he gave it all he had on the track.
“Proud of everybody on the Roush Performance Ford. Wyndham, Oscar Mayer, Performance Plus, Acronis, Acorns everybody that has come on to help us,” explained Newman. “Just fighting hard. Sixth place was all we had tonight. I can promise that. But we’ll come back swinging again.”
Newman entered the night six points out of the cutoff for the second round of the Playoffs. By the time the checkered flag flew, not only had Newman worked inside the top-12 of the championship standings, but he jumped four positions up to ninth and he now has a 13 point advantage over Alex Bowman who sits 13th in the standings.
Next up is the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. Although he isn’t considered an impressive road racer, Newman finished seventh at Sonoma earlier this season and he finished 11th in the first-ever race at the Roval a season ago.
It’s looking more and more certain that Newman will be a fixture in the Playoffs for another three races after next weekend.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.