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MENCS: After Bad Start To October, Ryan Newman Happy In Talladega Finish

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It’s been a rough October for Ryan Newman, drive of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing machine.

The month got off to a bad start when Ryan was eliminated from the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Dover International Speedway. In the Round of 16, Newman posted finishes of 23rd at Chicago, 13 at Loudon and 13 at Dover, and was the first driver on the outside looking in.

A week later, Newman was running well in the Bank of America until his car caught fire after an accident with Clint Bowyer on lap 44.

Ryan Newman’s car on fire after contact with the wall in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo: Boyd Adams/Rubbings Racing

Bowyer drifted high off turn 2, hit the wall and came down, striking Newman’s car in the right rear quarterpanel. Newman’s car went full force into the outside wall and down across the track. Newman slowly continued until flames appeared and he climbed out of the car.

So coming into this weekend’s race, Newman was looking to get the bad luck monkey off his back. Despite qualifying 27th, Newman made his way to the front of the field not long after the green flag fell. He spent most of the day winning in the 5-15 positions.

“The 11 did a great job of getting me going at the start there; kind of reminded me of the old tandem days of drafting,” Newman stated. “But just not the end result that we wanted but a good performance, and we needed that after my screw‑up last weekend.

Newman was leading the field when the white flag flew Sunday afternoon, but as soon the pack hit the start-finish line, Newman’s lead grew bigger and bigger, but with little drafting help.

Was he worried about having such a big lead on the final lap?

“I was worried about it all,” he said post-race. “I was trying to maintain the lead, keep a distance, and block the best I could without getting myself turned around because you can over‑block and be the guy at fault. I just either did it right or didn’t do it right, but either way I’m not in Victory Lane.”

Newman went on to finish second to Brad Keselowski, while leading three laps.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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