Ryan Newman overcame a pair of unlucky, mid-race cautions to drive his No. 6 Acorns Ford Mustang to a 13th-place finish Sunday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“We had a good Acorns Ford Mustang today, but just had a couple cautions not go our way,” Newman said. “Our pit crew did a great job all day and gained us some valuable positions. We definitely showed some speed which is promising for our team this season.”
Newman rolled off 13th for Sunday’s 325-lap event after just missing Friday’s final round of qualifying. But 10 laps in, he found himself in the top-10 and remained there for a good portion of the day.
Newman ran 11th at lap 35 for a competition caution, when crew chief Scott Graves called the No. 6 Ford to pit road for adjustments to help manage tight conditions in turns one and two, and loose conditions in turns three and four. After service on pit road, Newman lined up ninth at lap 40.
He went on to finish the opening 85-lap stage 15th, reporting tight conditions. He restarted in the same spot for stage two, before making a green-flag stop at lap 125 for four tires and fuel. By the time stops cycled, Newman was 10th 11 laps later, where he remained when the second green checkered waved.
The No. 6 team gained Newman two more spots on pit road during the stage break, slotting him ninth to begin the final 155-lap stage. He ran 10th at lap 221 when he led the field to a round of green-flag stops, but the yellow was displayed just after the stop, putting him a lap off the leaders.
However, he was able to take the wave around after just pitting and restarted 19th at lap 227. By lap 267 Newman was battling loose conditions and ran 20th, before pitting at lap 271 under green for more adjustments. But, the caution came out again while the No. 6 was on pit road, again putting Newman a lap down to the leaders.
Once again, he took the wave around to restart 18th at lap 282. From there the race ran green for the duration, as Newman picked off five spots in the final green-flag run to cross the line 13th.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to action next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Race coverage begins on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on FOX and PRN.