October 31, 2011 by staff
Newman was 16th top-10 in 2011 and his 10th top-10 finishes in 20 Sprint Cup races of the series starts at Martinsville.
But it was not easy for the driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).
Newman started on 12, was in the top-10 for much of the first 50 laps of the race and came in sixth place when the caution came on lap 66 for an accident with David Reutimann. While the five cars ahead of Newman went to pit road, Newman and crew chief Tony Gibson decided to stand by and, therefore, Newman inherited the lead.
He held the point of 69 to 107 laps, a total of 39 laps before pitting for four tires and fuel on lap 108. Thereafter, Newman led once more, 154 to 155 laps, but the handling of your Chevrolet Haas Automation became firm and Newman was out of the top-10, the race neared the halfway point.
Newman battled mismanagement car for the rest of the race and was fourteenth with 25 laps to go when his car made contact with the machine of Kurt Busch in turn two, the result of Newman to turn the car.
After a stop for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, Newman restarted 20 with 22 laps to go. With great determination, Newman drove up to 14 on lap 490 and then got four points over the last 10 laps to score a hard-earned top-10 results.
“We have to turn,” said Gibson. “We had new tires and it turned out there and had to go back and returned to the top-10. I do not know what else to do. We took turns. It’s frustrating. I am proud that he came back and finished 10 No, but it’s not what we wanted. We will take it and move on. ”
Newman SHR teammate, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala, led three times for 14 laps, and took the lead five times and current Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, in a restart three laps en route to winning the Tums Fast Relief 500.
It was Stewart’s third win and 16 top-10 result in 2011, his third victory and 14 top-10 in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at the oval 0.526 miles of Martinsville, and his 42nd victory in 461 career races Sprint Cup.
This was the fourth win of the SHR Sprint Cup in 2011, Newman won in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. SHR now has 11 Sprint Cup victories since its creation in 2009.
Stewart finished 0.170 of a second ahead of runner-up Johnson, and Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five. Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards and Newman composed the rest of the top-10.
There were 18 caution periods for 108 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the race to 500 laps.
Stewart and Newman are two of this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup at Martinsville and came fourth and 12, respectively, in the Chase standings. Stewart was 19 points behind Chase leader Edwards, while Newman was 88 points out of first place. Stewart left Martinsville second in the championship, eight markers behind series leader Edwards. Newman remained 12th in the standings and is now 89 points in the first place.
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