Monday, October 8, 2007

Ryan Newman Finishes 5th At Talladega

Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge finished 5th at Talladega for the UAW Ford 500.  Jeff Gordon was took the checkered flag after an exciting last 8 laps.
Starting at about lap 150, Newman was in second behind Tony Stewart.  Behind Newman in 3rd was his team mate Kurt Busch.  On the last 3 restarts Newman was pushing Steward.  Stewart, Newman, Busch and others were using the high lane, and Jimmie Johnson was coming on the low lane.  Around lap 175 Tony Stewart dropped down to the low lane to block Johnson, then shot back up the track to block Newman.  Newman and Busch cut to the inside of Stewart, causing Stewart to be left out and shuffled back.
Yellow flag came out on lap 176.  Michael Waltrip who qualilfied for the race and won the pole position had a great day, but cut a tire taking out a couple other cars as well.  Waltrip was interviewed afterward and said it felt great to be running up front all day again.
Lap 180 brings out the green flag - Nemwan leading, Busch second and Juan Pablo Montoya in third.  Montoya had been running strong and up front almost all day.
Lap 181 and Newman is still leading.  Newman fans are happy to Newman out in front, but we also know that this is not the place to be at the end of a restrictor plate race.  By lap 182 Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Casey Mears and Tony Stewart are on the bottom and have caught Ryan Newman, Busch and Montoya who are on the top.
Now things start getting pretty exciting.  I don't understand why Newman and Busch, or just Newman did not jump down in front of Johnson, but it is easy to be a driver a from the couch.  There is some yelling going on in my house at this point.  My 18 month old son is just as excited as I am and is laughing his butt off watching the "vroom vrooms".  Mommy is yelling at us to quiet down......making us laugh even more.
Lap 184 Stewart tries to get by Johnson by going to the middle.  Great plan except nobody went with him and he is hung out to dry.
Lap 185 and Stewart latches on to the Penske Train still be lead by Newman on the outside.  They have caught back up to Johnson.
On the final lap everyone is trying to be out front.  Gordon ditches his team mate and shoots to the front for the win.
Newman had a great day.  He ran all over the place from the front to the back.  He made up alot of positions on almost every pit stop by taking only 2 tires ( I assume).
Kudo's to Kurt Busch.  I am not a fan but in pre-race interviews he said that he would help Newman if that situation arised and he did.  He also said Newman woud do the same for him.  Before the restart on lap 166, Newman and Busch talked about what to do.  They really did not know.  But Busch ended the conversation by saying "I'll follow you", and that is what he did.
As usual, Talladega was a good race with an exciting finish. 
1 Jeff Gordon
2 Jimmie Johnson
3 Dave Blaney 
4 Denny Hamlin
5 Ryan Newman
6 Casey Mears
7 Kurt Busch
8 Tony Stewart
9 Tony Raines
10 Reed Sorenson

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