Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ryan Newman Finishes 4th at Darlington Raceway's Dodge Avenger 500

I missed the first part of the race, but I know by lap 44 Ryan Newman and his #12 Alltel Dodge had worked their way up to 15th from 29th. And then by lap 75 Nemwan was up to 8th.

Lap 75 is where I joined the TV coverage of the race. It sounds like (from the radio brodcast) that JR has a pretty hot car.

Lap 104 completes the cycle of the first green flag pits today. Newman had worked his way up to 7th by this point.

On lap 132 Newman is in 5th and had an almost 4 second lead over 5th place Dale Earnhardt JR.

By lap 171 Ryan Newman and that Penske Racing #12 Dodge Avenger was doing really well running in the 3rd position behind Tony Stewart and then by lap 173 Newman was in 2nd almost 4 seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin. Green flag pits then start.

On lap 178 Denny Hamlin pited giving Ryan Newman the lead. Newman stayed out to gain the 5 points. This is the first time a Dodge has led a lap in the new car. After the 5 bonus points, Nemwan went to the pits. On the way in McMuray stopped short of his pit to avoid hitting Newman on the way out. After the cycle of Green flag pits, Newman was in 3rd and NASCAR threw a debris caution.

Lap 205 Newman had a great car. He was trailing Hamlin by 1+ seconds but leading 3rd place Matt Kensith by almost 4 seconds. Hamlin had a greater lead but scraped the wall allowing Newman to real him in a bit.

By lap 218 Nemwan had reeled Hamlin in. Speculation was the when Hamlin brushed the wall it did just enough minor damage to Hamlin that Newman was able to bring him in.

On lap 222 Newman TAKES THE LEAD. Hamlin let him go without a fuss. Green flag pits are coming in about 15 laps or so. This is Newmans best run yet this year.

There was a caution on lap 239 Schrader and Ragan got into each other. Newman was still in first when it came out. It was time to pit and after the pits Newman came out in 2nd as the second place Matt Kensith gets off pit row ahaed of Newman after leading for 18 laps on that run and a total of 19 laps.

By lap 249 Newman had fallen to 5th after the Hendrick twins passed him and then Hamlin got around him.

After another caution on lap 255 and pits, Newman was back out in 2nd place as his pit crew helps him pick up 3 positions. Behind him was Jordan, Hamlin and then Johnson.

At about lap 220, Newman takes the lead again and is catching Tony Stewart in an effort to put him one lap down. Kurt Busch, Ryan Newmans Penske Racing team mate is up to 6th. Penske Racing dodges are the only 2 Dodges in the top 15!

On lap 292 Newman fell to third with Hamlin in first and Johnson in second.

After a caution on lap 304 Newman restarts 4th behind team mate Kurt Busch and in 3rd. Montoya was 2 laps down and holding up leaders a little. Newman ends up behind Montoya. Newman go around Montoya without an incident.

With 40 laps to go in the race (lap 327), Newman is in still in 4th and just over 4.5 seconds away from leader Jimmie Johnson. Jeff Gordon is in 2nd and Newmans team mate Kurt Busch is in 3rd. Newman would welcome a caution at this point in order to close the gap between him and the leaders.

On lap 334 a debris caution is thrown (FOX shows the debris on TV). All the leaders pit and Newman gets a minor track bar adjustment.

Newman will restart in 3rd behind Gordon in second and Johnson in 3rd. Gordon is steaming alot and may not make it to the end of the race.


After the restart....the #48 and the #24 take off from the rest of the field.

With 25 to go, another debris caution comes out. This could help Gordon to overheat which would put Newman in 2nd. Some cars pit. Johnson comes in, Gordon and Newman stayed out.

On the restart it was Gordon, Nemwan, Dale JR, Marlin and Martin. Green came with 19 to go.

Behind Newman there is cars with new tires and cars with old tires. This should work to Nemwans advantage.

With 17 to go Stremme blows and engine and brings out the caution.

11 to under green Newman and Johnson battling for second. Newman is not easily giving up second.

9 to go Johnson keeps trying...Newman holding him off. Hamlin comes in for 2nd.....Newman holding them all off.

7 to go Hamlin around Newman. Newman and Johnson still battling.

6 to go Johnson around Hamlin.

2 to go and Newman and Edwards battling for 4th.


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