Ryan Newman joined his team owner, Tony Stewart, as the only Indiana natives to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, holding off Jimmie Johnson to win the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com Sunday, July 28.
Newman, from South Bend, Ind., beat four-time Brickyard winner Johnson to the finish by 2.657 seconds in the No. 39 Quicken Loans/The Smurfs Chevrolet. Newman became just the third driver to win from the pole in the race’s 20-year history, joining Kevin Harvick (2003) and Johnson (2008).
“This is a dream come true for me,” Newman said. “I can’t wait to push my lips on those bricks. I don’t realize it yet. It’s a dream come true. It will take a week or so for this to set in. Just a great run today. We needed this.”
Kasey Kahne finished third in the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet, while two-time Brickyard winner Stewart was fourth in the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota.
Newman led four times for 45 laps and took the lead for good on Lap 149 of the 160-lap race when leader Brad Keselowski made his final pit stop.
But the groundwork for Newman’s victory was created on his final pit stop on Lap 134. His Stewart-Haas Racing pit crew completed service in just 11 seconds, while Johnson’s final stop on Lap 133 took 18 seconds due to a slow right-rear tire change on the No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet.
That helped Newman erase a 1.675-second gap to Johnson on Lap 131 and paved his route to kissing the famous Yard of Bricks after the race.
“There’s definitely disappointment there,” Johnson said of his final pit stop. “But that’s racing – it happens. I’ve given away a few out there this year, too. Ryan was fast all day long. I can’t take anything away from him. He was plenty fast.”
So was Johnson. He led four times for a race-high 73 laps in a race slowed just three times by caution periods, but he couldn’t make history by becoming the first driver to win this race five times.
Chevrolet drivers swept the top four positions in the race. Chevy has won 11 consecutive Sprint Cup Series races at IMS.
Kyle Busch, who won the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at IMS, finished 10th in his No. 18 M&M’s Red-White-Blue M-Prove America Toyota.
2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya finished ninth in the No. 42 Target Chevrolet, while 2005 Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick finished 30th in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet in her first Sprint Cup start at IMS.