Track position proved to be key in a 500-mile race Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway as Ryan Newman crossed the line 15th in his Roush Performance Ford Mustang.
After starting from the 25th position, Newman spent much of the day trying to claw his way forward as five cautions were displayed in the opening 85-lap stage. Following a trio of stops in the opening segment – two of which were early fuel-only stops – the yellow came out with five to go in the stage, which set up a one-lap shootout to the stage flag, where Newman crossed the line 22nd.
With varying pit strategies, Newman rolled off 12th for the second stage, and maintained his position just outside the top-10 for the better part of the run, until green flag stops ensued more than 50 laps later. After pitting from the fifth position at lap 152, this time for four tires and fuel, Newman finished the stage 21st.
With just 18 laps on his tires, Newman took the wave around under the stage break putting him back on the lead lap, restarting 21st for the final segment. Over the course of the next five laps, two yellow flags were displayed as Newman pitted again for service before restarting inside the top-20 at lap 190.
Another 50 laps later, as green flag stops were cycling, Newman ran 12th when the caution came out once again, this time setting up a strategy call for crew chief Scott Graves. He elected to put two tires on Newman’s No. 6 machine from the 11th position, which put the 2003 Texas winner third on the restart at lap 248.
The team’s final pit stop would come at lap 299 with Newman running 13th. The green flag would remain in the air from that point on, with the South Bend, Indiana, native crossing the line 15th.
Newman and the No. 6 team return to action next weekend at ISM Raceway. Race coverage on Sunday from Phoenix begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.