DOVER, Del. (Oct. 2, 2011) — Ryan Newman fought handling issues throughout Sunday’s AAA 400 Sprint Cup race, and the end result was a 23rd-place finish for the U.S. Army driver.
Starting 20th for the 400-lap event at Dover International Speedway, Newman’s No. 39 U.S. Army ROTC Chevrolet struggled with track position at the all-concrete 1-mile oval.
“We just didn’t have it right all weekend,” said Newman. “We didn’t have any grip, which caused us to have poor track position all day. We tried a number of adjustments and pit strategies but nothing seemed to work in our favor. We have to put this weekend behind us and move on. Our Army Strong Soldiers fight adversity every day and they expect no less from their team. We won’t let them down. We’re a much better team than where we finished today.”
Newman’s crew chief Tony Gibson was equally disappointed in the performance.
“Ryan didn’t have much to work with and he got everything he could out of what he had to drive,” stated Gibson. “No matter how hard you try to better the car’s performance some days the dots just don’t connect. Today was one of those days. Believe me we worked hard and the pit crew did their job, but we just couldn’t put it all together. We’ll rebound, you can take that to the bank.”
Newman remained 11th in the Chase standings with seven races remaining. He is 41 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Newman’s teammate, Tony Stewart, came into the race as the points leader after winning the first two Chase events at Chicago and New Hampshire. But as was the case with Newman, Stewart also struggled, finishing 25th. He dropped to third in the Chase standings, nine points from first.
The race winner was Kurt Busch. Rounding out the top-five in order were: Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth.
The next Sprint Cup race is Sunday (Oct. 9) at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.
Chase Point Standings After 3 of 10 Races
1. Kevin Harvick 2122 points*
2. Carl Edwards, 2122
3. Tony Stewart, 2113*
4. Kurt Busch, 2113
5. Jimmie Johnson, 2109
6. Brad Keselowski, 2108*
7. Matt Kenseth, 2108
8. Kyle Busch, 2107
9. Jeff Gordon, 2103
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2088
11. Ryan Newman, 2081
12. Denny Hamlin, 2054
*leads next opponent due to tiebreaker