Ryan Newman battled his way into the top-10 for a majority of Sunday afternoon’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway before finishing 12th in his Oscar Mayer Bacon Ford Mustang.
“We definitely showed improvement from last week, which is a good sign for the weeks to come,” Newman said after the race. “Our No. 6 Oscar Mayer team worked hard after practice yesterday to make some changes, which showed once we took the green. Although we wanted a top-10, we’ll take the result, improve and move on to Fontana next week looking to capitalize on the momentum.”
After rolling off the grid 18th, Newman quickly worked his way up to 13th by the first yellow flag at lap 37, reporting he was loose once the green flag dropped. However, he was caught speeding on pit road during his first stop of the day, sending him to the tail end of the field restarting 25th with 31 to go in the opening stage.
From there he battled his way back to 19th by lap 60, before another yellow flag was displayed a few laps later. Following service on his No. 6 Ford and quick work on pit road, he lined up 17th for the restart, where he’d finish the first stage.
With the prevailing strategy in favor of crew chief Scott Graves, Newman was able to stay out in the stage break, which lined him up eighth to start the second stage. By lap 100 he weaved his way to sixth, reporting the balance was better overall. He would maintain that position for the next 50 laps, earning valuable stage points with a sixth-place finish in stage two.
The crew again went to work on his machine, adding four tires with an air pressure adjustment under the break, sending him back out plus two on the board, where he would restart fourth for stage three. After loose conditions returned, he fell back to 10th by lap 195 when the caution flew. During service on his stop, a crew member (behind the wall) touched the ground with his hand, resulting in a safety violation penalty from NASCAR, which again sent Newman to the rear.
After rolling off 22nd, Newman picked off three spots by the next yellow at lap 220, before Graves played strategy and called for two tires. He lined back up 10th on the restart and got as high as seventh by lap 237. The closing laps went on to run caution free before Newman crossed the line 12th.
Newman and the 6 team close out the West Coast swing next week at Auto Club Speedway. Race coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90 next Sunday from Fontana.