Ryan Newman ends a 127-race winless streak, earning the victory at Phoenix.
avondale, ariz.» A big gamble in the desert heat ended a long victory drought for Ryan Newman.
When just about everybody else decided to take a tirechanging pit stop in the final few laps on Sunday, Newman figured he’d be going in with them.
His crew chief Luke Lambert thought otherwise.
It was a decision that earned Newman a victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, ending his 127-race winless streak.
“Just a heck of a gutsy call by Luke Lambert,” Newman said. “It’s his first win as a crew chief in the cup series and I think making a gutsy call like that makes it that much more special for him.”
While the leaders were in the pits, Newman moved from seventh Ryan Newman celebrates in Victory Lane on Sunday after winning the NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway. to first and for the final two laps held off Kyle Larson, the second-place finisher for the third straight race.
Kyle Busch, the leader for nearly all of the final stage of the race, was third on a day when the temperature soared to 97 degrees at Phoenix International Raceway.
For the Furniture Row Racing team, Erik Jones scored a career best NASCAR Cup Series finish of eighth, while Martin Truex Jr. overcame multiple issues to post an 11th-place result.
Like nearly all the rest of the field, Larson and Busch went to the pits on the late caution caused when Joey Logano’s car blew a right tire and slammed into the wall six laps from the finish.
Newman won his 18th Cup race but his first since the 2013 Brickyard 400. He gave Chevrolet its first victory of the season and ended a 112-race losing streak for Richard Childress Racing.
When the caution ended, two laps separated him from the win.
“You’re on old tires. It’s really easy to screw it up,” Newman said. “You’ve got to get your tires cleaned off right, you’ve to get a good launch, you’ve got to run through the gear box right, and then you’ve got to hold everybody off.”