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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ryan Newman's mixed bag at Daytona

Congratulations to Ryan Newman. Not only did he run the fastest lap--199.252 mph--in last night's race, which earned him an award from Goodyear, but he also led the most laps--25, just like he did at the season opener at Daytona. For his efforts, the Rocketman won a $5,800 award from Goodyear.

But that's not all...

I'm sure this honor helped soothe Newman's ire, yet probably not enough to erase the feeling that victory was snatched away from him once again on a restrictor-plate track.

What a roller coaster ride--to be leading the last lap with victory in sight--only to get wrecked--finishing 22nd. 

The tandem team of Newman and Denny Hamlin were in the right position to win--with Newman second and Hamlin fourth. They got a good restart as they were able to work together at the line. But so did David Ragan and Matt Kenseth who took the lead by inches. Newman and Hamlin then got shuffled into the middle of a three-wide pack when Logano and Kasey Kahne took the outside. 

Newman and Hamlin fell back as they were sandwiched alone between the two long-lined, fast-moving drafts. Then, Though it wasn't clear what happened next because cameras were focused on the race lead, according to the replay above it looked like Dale Earnhartdt, Jr., got into Jaimie McMurray who got into Newman, pinning him against the wall, turning him around. Hamlin was able to scramble through the grass, allowing him to finish 13th while Newman had to right his car before charging for the start/finish line.

It was a sad night at Daytona for Newman and those of us who root for him. Thank goodness, Newman was able to maintain his 10-point standing, though with only 9 races left before the Chase for the Championship, it is time for Lady Luck to go on to something or someone else.

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