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Ryan Newman wins Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis

Jul 28, 2013, 4:37 PM EDT

Country Music Stars Attend The Brickyard 400 Presented By Big Machine Record Label Getty Images

Indiana native Ryan Newman has realized his childhood dream of winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, capitalizing on a slow final stop from Jimmie Johnson and going on to win the Brickyard 400 from the pole position.

Johnson and Newman were first and second, when the five-time Sprint Cup champion made his final stop with 27 laps to go. However, the four-tires-and-fuel stop clocked in at a slow 17 seconds for Johnson. Newman then pitted from the lead one lap later for fuel and right-side tires only, and was able to get out in front of Johnson on the track.

Once the green-flag pit cycle concluded, Newman re-assumed the lead with 12 laps remaining and went on to take the checkered flag by 2.65 seconds over Johnson, who led a race-high 73 laps but was denied what would have been a fifth career triumph at Indy.

“[Crew chief] Matt Borland made an awesome call,” Newman said to ESPN in Victory Circle. “I’ve won more races with him on old tires and [being] out of gas than I have with four tires and the best car…This is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to go and push my lips against those bricks!”

As for Johnson, he accepted his defeat gracefully.

“It’s definitely a disappointment, but it’s racing – stuff happens,” he said. “I’ve given away a couple [of races] while leading myself this year. We win as a team, we lose as a team, and that’s just how it is. I wouldn’t take another race team out there.”

The victory comes at a very opportune time for Newman, who will leave Stewart-Haas Racing and become a free agent at season’s end. But while he’ll have to look for a new ride for 2014, Newman maintained that his focus remains on finishing strong for SHR.

“We still have a championship to go after and we still have the Chase to do,” he said. “There’s still plenty of racing left. This is a great day for us in the points, but it doesn’t mean anything. Tomorrow’s a new day and come Pocono, this will be in the past.”

Kasey Kahne finished a solid third, while Newman’s boss, Tony Stewart, finished fourth. Matt Kenseth rounded out the Top 5.

After Stewart climbed out of his machine, he eventually made his way to Victory Circle and wrapped Newman in a bear hug as a very proud car owner.

“I was scared to ask where he was at and how big of a lead he had and finally, with three to go, I couldn’t wait any longer,” Stewart said. “Finally, I asked and wanted to know what was going on – I didn’t want to jinx him.

“I just kept watching the Jumbotrons every time we’d come off of [Turn] Four, and was watching to see where he was at. I’m just very proud of him. He’s a great teammate and an even better friend. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

  1. brianskrocki - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Good race. Not really a fan of Ryan Newman, that said, happy for him that he was able to win his ‘home race.’
    Serious comment and question: There seemed to be more empty seats than full ones at the race. It seemed even worse for the Nationwide yesterday. NASCAR and Nationwide have been putting on some fabulous races – the last 6 laps of the Nationwide race was about as good as it gets. My question is based upon a theory I have – NASCAR racing, and especially the Brickyard, is indicative of the True economic health of the country. This race; Indiana – middle of Amercia – usually populated by middle Americans. Are the empty seats the result of a still poor and struggling economy? Perhaps ticket prices are high, I don’t know. NASCAR races are family events and when economic times were better, more families made the treks to the tracks. I do believe this is the best indicator of our economic health, and based on today’s attendance, she’s still in critical condition.

    • bmcgrath2 - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      I went to this race in 2005, and I couldn’t remember seeing any empty seats when I was in the North Vista section. Went back the next year in 2006, and I noticed a drastic decrease in the attendance. Fast forward to 2013 viewing from TV, I can’t believe how many empty seats there are now.

      With the Nationwide race, they only sell tickets in certain sections, which is why it looks very empty, but the economy has definitely hurt attendance for this entire weekend schedule. I wish they would bring the Nationwide race back to IRP/ORP. The Nationwide speeds are soooo slow at IMS.

      Bottom line, its a great race to experience once, but of all of the races on the sked, the ticket prices don’t give you much bang for your buck, at least when I went in 05-06. Our ticket was $90 for North Vista (Short chute between 3 & 4), and you can only see the cars for 40% of the circuit. Still, I am glad I experienced IMS.

  2. bmcgrath2 - Jul 28, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I am going to stay out of the whole, “should they or shouldn’t they race there” debate, but I am going to buck up and say personally this has become my least favorite race on the schedule. This opinion has NOTHING to do with IMS, I just no longer believe this track makes for good stock car racing. I understand there is no way France will move this race because of the prestige of IMS, but PLEASE get rid of that god awful Nationwide race, and bring it back to ORP. That race could have virtually gone caution free up until the end, if it wasn’t for the “debris cautions”, and lap times were falling off into the lower 160 avg. MPH range.

  3. gratefulneal - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Great race Ryan – congrats to your team, crew chief and you! Now….maybe someone will pick you up with a Class A Team

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