May 6, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
The reason, frankly, is that he’s been here before.
When his former Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch wound up on top of his car on Sunday, it marked the second time Newman’s been in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time when a car has gone airborne at Talladega.
It also happened at the spring Talladega race in 2009, when Brad Keselowski contacted Carl Edwards, and Edwards’ car came careening toward Newman’s. With a stuck throttle and not being able to see, Newman’s car kept going across the line that day. It was easily the scariest third place finish in recent memory.
Of course, for good measure, Newman also had one of the most spectacular barrel rolls of his own in a restrictor plate race, at the 2003 Daytona 500, some 10 years ago. Then, like now, he has thankfully emerged from all accidents uninjured.
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