Drivers Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, and Rickey Stenhouse Jr. stayed out on old tires during the final caution flag at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman’s crew chief Luke Lambert rolled the dice giving Newman the lead when the field went back green with two laps to go.
Sunday’s win marked Newman’s first win with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and his first win since July of 2013 with Stewart-Haas Racing at Indianapolis. Phoenix has been kind to Newman in the past with his most recent success in November 2014 when on the last lap Newman made contact with Larson, which would give Newman a spot in the championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Newman spoke to the media after Sunday’s win ending a 127 race winless streak.
“It’s just a hard-fought race, a hard-fought battle, a hard-fought four years,” he said. “I got to thank Richard and Judy, everybody at RCR, ECR, for not only giving me the opportunity to drive the racecar but giving me a racecar that’s in contention to win a race.
“Luke, my crew chief, Lambert, an amazing first win for him. He made the call to stay out, trusted me to make the racecar wide. Just a heck of a team effort.
“I got emotional on the back straightaway. I haven’t gotten emotional since yet. I’m planning on not,” Newman said.
Larson finished second in Sunday’s Camping World 500, giving him the points lead. Larson spoke to the media after his second place finish on Sunday.
“A solid run for us. Wish we would have been the winners. I thought we were — I knew we were in the best spot. Just, yeah, turned across Ricky’s nose and got sideways, killed both of our runs off of two, and allowed Newman to get out on us,” Larson stated.
Stenhouse Jr. scored his first top-five of the 2017 season. When he spoke to the media Sunday, he credited his crew chief Brian Pattie on his bold move.
“There at the end, I thought Brian wanted us to stay out when the caution came out. I kind of second-guessed him. Then when I told him everybody was coming down pit road, I already kind of committed to stay out and went with his gut instinct, and paid off,” he said.
Next weekend it’s the final leg of “NASCAR Goes West” at Auto Club Speedway with coverage starting at 3:00 PM Eastern on your local Fox station.