Ryan Newman produced a strong start to the season's final 10 races, qualifying fifth on Friday afternoon, then coming home ninth in Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
When the green flag dropped, Newman began fighting a tight condition in his car in the centers – a problem he would battle all day – but he was able to hold his ground in the top 10.
NASCAR issued a competition caution on lap 36 due to the fact that rain cancelled all practice sessions on Saturday. Newman came in for his first stop on lap 38 for four tires, fuel, one pound out of the left-front tire and two rounds up on the right-side track bar.
Newman restarted the race in eighth, but another caution on lap 68 allowed him to come in for a two-tire stop and gain some positions on pit road.
The car was still too tight when Newman came in for his second stop and received right-side tires, fuel and one round up on the right-side track bar. The 6.32-second stop got Newman off pit road in third. The two cars in front of Newman also received only two tires.
After the restart, Newman told crew chief Michael Nelson that he felt a slight vibration in his car on the straightaways, but he didn't believe it was anything to worry about.
The car was still too tight in the center and had a tendency to snap loose on the exit of the turns due to the tightness. Nelson decided to adjust the wedge in the right rear on the next stop in order to gauge the right-rear rubber.
When green-flag pit stops began, Newman was able to stay out and lead two laps, earning five bonus points. When he finally pitted on lap 143, Nelson called for four tires, fuel and one round of wedge in the right rear. Once the green-flag stops cycled through, Newman was in fifth, but on lap 149 the caution flag waved again.
Newman told Nelson he was struggling with tire chatter, but it wouldn't be until lap 166 that Newman would come in for fresh tires.
On lap 166, Newman made his way to his pit stall and the Mobil 1 Dodge crew gave Newman right-side tires, fuel and one round of wedge in the right rear. The 5.88-second stop did little to help Newman on pit road; however, after the top four drivers stayed out, Newman was forced to restart the race in ninth.
Three cautions would occur between laps 170 and 200, but Nelson informed Newman they only needed to make one more stop for fuel, which meant Newman would stay out of the pits during all three yellow flags.
Green-flag stops began again on lap 233. Before making his final stop, Newman asked Nelson to help his exit.
"It's the tightest I've been," Newman told Nelson.
Newman made his way into the pits on lap 238 and received four tires, fuel and two rounds up on the right-side track bar. On lap 257, Newman made his way back into the top 10 and remained there for the race's final laps to finish ninth.
Next week, Newman will drive the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger in the Dover 400 at Dover International Speedway. ABC and MRN Radio will broadcast the race live beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.