Ryan Newman, who will be unemployed at the end of the season, may have a few eyes looking his way after capturing the victory at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend.
Newman took advantage of a rare pit road mishap by Jimmie Johnsons crew, to take the lead with 24 laps left and hold on for the victory. The first for the Indiana native in 49 races.
The race had long green flag runs with very little passing, causing some fans to ask for change. There were zero crashes and just three cautions. Johnson and Newman were the class of the field all weekend. Newman edged Johnson out for the pole position, and then took the win after Johnson had a slow pit stop with 27 laps to go. The pit stop took over 17 seconds to change four tires. Newman then pitted two laps later, took only two tires and took the lead for good. A lead that Johnson could not overcome despite leading the most laps, 73 of the 160.
Johnson finished second, Kasey Kahne was third and Tony Stewart — who co-owns the team Newman drives for, Stewart-Haas Racing — finished fourth. Fifth place was Matt Kenseth.
*** Busch to run Indy ***
So it appears that Kurt Busch will try his luck running the Indy 500 next year. So instead of it being his first race in an Indy car, he is looking to run the last race in California coming up on Oct 19 a Saturday night race. Reportedly they are seeking funding. This will also present a bit of a travel challenge, as the NASCAR series will race at Talladega the next day.
*** Pocono Preview ***
There are just six races remaining before Nascar’s version of the playoffs starts in a 10 race chase. Spots 10-14 are separated by just 13 points. There are about 6 or 7 drivers competing for the final spot and the two wildcard spots. Being that the wildcard spots are locked in with only one win right now, it really is going to come down to the final couple races and every point counts. This week look for Johnson to be strong and tossing away a fifth brickyard win last week because of the poor pitstop. For the win, I am taking Denny Hamlin, who loves flat tracks and Pocono. His season is over and he has no chance of making up the points to get in the top 20, even if he would gather a couple wins, but Pocono is a favorite track of his and a victory would help that back pain go away.