Ryan Newman wins SRX Round 3 at Stafford, retains series’ points lead
Ryan Newman bided his time and pounced with four laps remaining in the 75-lap affair, passing Marco Andretti to win his first Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) race at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
With his win, Newman retains the points’ lead as the summer series hits its halfway point.
Joining Newman on top of his car at the end of the race were his daughters, who poignantly escorted him out of the hospital two years ago following an accident in the 2020 Daytona 500 that might have ended his career.
“It’s just so special,” Newman told CBS Sports after the race. “To have these two girls right here, nobody knows what that means to me. I got choked up the last couple laps, and then seeing the smiles on their faces kind of took the tears away. It’s so special driving with the best drivers in the world and to be victorious is extremely special.”
Last week in South Boston tempers boiled over, contributing to a lot of torn up equipment. Stewart, one of the owners of the series in addition to being a driver, said he would have a meeting with the drivers to reinforce that the resources are not available to keep wrecking. It seems to have had an impact as this week was a much calmer affair.
Newman’s win was aided by a competition caution with 10 laps racing. These cautions are one of the ways SRX keeps the short track races from being runaway affairs.
The pass for victory was not without contact, another feature of short track racing.
“He did the bump the same thing every single one of us would have done to try and win the race,” Andretti said. “I’m just learning so much from these Cup guys. They’re just too good in these types of cars.
“I’m slowly learning and slowly putting it together. If I can keep finishing where I’m at in the heats and it gives me good enough track position to run up front in these races, hopefully I can put one together before the end of the year and try to win the championship.”
Paul Tracy used the late-race battle to climb into third. Tracy was the biggest victim of the frenetic goings on at South Boston. He was spun multiple times and ended the race in the pits. At Stafford, he also experienced trouble when Michael Waltrip, a driver he tussled with last week, clipped his rear bumper. This time it was Waltrip bearing the brunt of the accident. He finished 12th in the 12-car field.
Tony Stewart in fourth and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five.
Feature: 1. Ryan Newman, 2. Marco Andretti, 3. Paul Tracy, 4. Tony Stewart, 5. Bobby Labonte, 6 Hailie Deegan, 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 8. Matt Hirschman, 9. Justin Marks, 10. Greg Biffle, 11. Bill Elliott, 12. Michael Waltrip.