News & Multimedia

Stewart, Newman Setting Strong Pace

Courtesy of Speed.com

Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, winner of last fall’s race at Martinsville Speedway, was mostly a non-factor in Sunday’s return to the half-mile track.

Stewart finished seventh after the late-race smashup in turn one scrambled the field, but he couldn’t put his No. 14 Chevrolet in front for any of the race’s 515 laps.

Not to worry, however. The champ’s Stewart-Haas Racing team was well-represented in victory lane by its other driver, Ryan Newman.

Newman’s victory, accomplished with a slick inside-lane move through the first-turn mayhem, gave SHR eight victories in the Sprint Cup Series’ last 16 races – a remarkable .500 batting average. That average extends into this season, with the team having won three of the first six races. Stewart finished first at Las Vegas and Fontana.

Newman had not won a race since last July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“There was a sense of relief there, but the emotion was, ‘Man, we did it,’” Newman said. “I've tried so many times there, and I enjoy short-track racing. I enjoy Martinsville, and I didn't used to. So it made it more sweet for me than maybe another race track.”

Although Stewart has been carrying the load victory-wise for SHR, having won five of the 10 Chase races last fall and two of the first five events this year, Newman said he didn’t feel under pressure to match his boss by visiting victory lane.

“I don't look at it in that respect,” he said. “I can't compare myself to the 14 or Tony Stewart or anybody else. All I know is I can go out there and do the best job that I physically, emotionally and mentally can.

“If that gets us to victory lane, then it does. If it doesn't, we need to sit back and figure out how to be better. Comparing yourself doesn't get you anywhere, in my opinion.”

With wins this early in the year, Stewart and Newman have a leg up in the competition for Chase positions. Should they drop in the standings, victories will count in the battle for wild-card spots.

“Well, it's big for us from a points standpoint because we gain an advantage in the points, but primarily to give us something to fall back on if we need to to make it into the Chase,” Newman said. “That is a sense of relief. But that relief doesn't get you anywhere when it comes to performance. It just gives you something to fall back on.

“So our job is still to go out there and make the effort to win each and every race and keep moving our way up into the points so we don't have to rely on the win.”

For the moment, Newman and Stewart have rather comfortable perches in the point standings, Stewart claiming a tie for third with three other drivers and Newman sitting in eighth, only eight points behind leader Greg Biffle.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Stewart, Newman Setting Strong Pace
 
Stewart, Newman Setting Strong Pace
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, winner of last fall’s race at Martinsville Speedway, was mostly a non-factor in Sunday’s return to the half-mile track.
Read More
Related Media
Juan Pablo Montoya
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Montoya Wins Thrilling Indianapolis 500
Montoya, who won the race 15 years earlier in his first start, held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Will Power by .1046 of a second -- the fourth-closest finish in race history -- in a thrilling battle over the final 15 laps that also included pole sitter and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon. Five of the 37 lead changes occurred in those 15 laps following a restart, with Montoya overtaking Dixon in Turn 1 for second place and Power in Turn 4 to lead Lap 197 by .0420 of a second.
Read More
Will Power
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Power Takes First Step Towards May Sweep at IMS
After earning the Verizon P1 Award with a track-record qualifying lap for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Will Power was asked about the prospects of a Month of May sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Read More
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
 
Monday racing roundup: Earnhardt Jr. Scores Emotional Win at Talladega
Earnhardt, his team and Junior Nation could celebrate his 0.159-second victory over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 Sunday afternoon, his sixth Sprint Cup win here. It all but assures Earnhardt a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship for a fifth consecutive year.
Read More
Jeff Gordon
 
NASCAR Teams Slated to Test at IMS on Wednesday, April 29
As a prelude to the 22nd annual Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26, 2015, 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 29.
Read More
Scott Dixon
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Dixon Lands 36th Career IndyCar Win at Long Beach
Dixon's first victory at Long Beach was his 36th overall, breaking a tie with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car list. Al Unser is fourth with 39 victories. It was the 98th Indy car victory for team owner Chip Ganassi.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 606
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
@GBlinebury @IndyCar @jdouglas4 its on our YouTube channel.
about 11 hours ago