By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
No quitting from both Ryan Newman and his entire No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing squad, settling for seventh in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after overcoming a coil wiring issue.
“Honestly, it was the most fun I’ve had all year in a race car, and that’s mostly because we had a good, competitive Oscar Mayer Ford. I slid through the box,” Newman on his stellar top-10 performance. “We had a bad coil wire. We had a bunch of things that set us back, being in a back-up car starting last and to have the finish that we did at a track that is usually difficult to pass at, but I will say that I did pass a few guys three-wide and that doesn’t happen very often here. I’m proud of the team effort and it’s something to build on for sure.
“We just passed a bunch of cars. I literally probably passed the most cars today.”
Their wild memorable weekend started off cold after crashing during Friday practice, which forced Newman, who qualified 26th, becoming one of five drivers who started at the rear of the field.
Newman would have a strong Ford Mustang throughout the day and ended up with a respectable 15th in Stage 1. Then on Stage 2, he would gradually work his way up to the top-10, which he was able to hang on for most of the day as he had a car capable of outperforming the top cars.
Late in the stage, Newman made the decision to stay out which had its tremendous perks as he was able to notch eight stage points after finishing third behind Joey Logano and stage winner Aric Almirola.
Those vital points later proved to be beneficial as far as his bid for a playoff spot as he entered Loudon two points out of the postseason in 17th.
That almost wouldn’t have been possible as on Lap 204, reports came out that Newman lost a cylinder and with a shot of making the playoffs by points on the line, pitting was far from his vocabulary.
Once a caution came out for Kyle Busch making wall contact in Turn 1, it was a perfect time to find a diagnosis and rather than being a lost cylinder, it’s when they found out that a broken wire coiling set Newman back.
They were able to make repairs when the pits were open and with that valiant team effort, Newman kept his strong momentum going and scored his third straight top-10 finish and eighth overall this season.
“I didn’t know what it was and I was thinking of ways to fix it without fixing it, and they found that they could physically fix it,” Newman on the wire coiling issue. “I was thinking of ways to help it without fixing it, so they did an awesome job assessing the situation.
“We caught a couple breaks there with cautions and did all we could to stay on the lead lap and it worked. It was an awesome job. If we would have had one more decent run in there, we could have been up there racing with them for the lead, but the second to the last run we were just way too loose.”
With power steering problems by Jimmie Johnson and a Turn 4 crash involving Clint Bowyer, Newman saw himself improve from 17th to 15th in the championship standings. This meant he’s 21 points to the good of making the postseason heading into the Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway July 28.
Newman said it’s not a dire as it pertained to his playoff situation with six regular season races remaining.
“We’re just out there doing the best that we can and I don’t think of it as dire. I think of it as opportunity,” said Newman. “We keep gaining. This is our first time at this race track. We’ve got a string of top 10s going here that we need to keep going and look forward to these next few races.”