Photo by: Jonathan Ferrey
Ryan Newman snapped a 127 race winless streak Sunday after a late caution allowed the team to play with strategy. Luke Lambert, crew chief for Ryan Newman, made the call to stay out despite Newman wanting to pit.
The decision was the race winning move that gave Newman his 18th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, and his first since July 28, 2013 at Indianapolis.
“I’ve lost count—that’s how long it’s been,” Newman said, “What a gutsy call by Luke. I called for two tires, and he called for none.”
Newman wasn’t the only one on old tires, however. He was joined by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Larson restarted fourth with two fresh tires, but collided with Stenhouse before he was able to take advantage of it.
“Hindsight is always 20/20, but I should have went a lane up in (Turns) 1 and 2.” Larson said, “I should have known to just stay close to Newman. That’s what I wish I would have done.”
Larson does have one thing to be happy about after the Camping World 500. He gained the series points lead earning his third straight second place finish.
Kyle Busch, who led 114 laps and looked to capture his first win of the season before Joey Logano’s tire blew, finished third, followed by Stenhouse, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick.
“We really needed the outside like Larson had,” Busch said after the race. “Overall, we should be proud of our run today and we will move on.”
It was a sweet victory for all involved at Richard Childress Racing. RCR had yet to win a race since Kevin Harvick won the fall race at Phoenix before joining Stewart-Haas Racing.
“It’s sweet for so many reasons,” Newman said. “This is the longest drought I’ve ever had. A hard-fought battle, a hard-fought race, a hard-fought four years.”