No. 2 Ryan Newman
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Ryan Newman turns laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
While he averaged a 7.5 finish, Ryan Newman came one spot short of securing his first series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
Ryan Newman finished half-a-second behind race and championship winner Kevin Harvick. Newman ran inside the top-ten during the race, restarting second to Harvick with three laps to go. With Harvick’s car on four fresher tires than Newman, Harvick pulled away and won his first series title.
“Just a lot of fight; these guys did a really good job,” Newman said of his Homestead-Miami effort post-race.
The top-five was Newman’s best at the track, and second in the last three races at the track.
“If we were close enough on the last lap, it might have been a different game, but I wasn't,” Newman said. “I slipped off of Turn 4 coming to the white, and at that point it was pretty much over.
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Ryan Newman (right) restarts beside Kevin Harvick at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I really was hoping he would slip a tire, blow a motor, something like
that, that was our only hope. All those things go through your mind, but I had a pretty good run and cut down to the bottom and just ran out of racetrack, ran out of room, and he had the air, he had the line.”
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Winless in 2014, Newman ended a four-year streak of at least one victory per season. 2014 was also the first time in his career Newman failed to score a pole position or a win. Yet, his season featured career milestones for the 36-year-old driver.
Newman’s second place in points is the highest the driver has ever finished in final points. The result was Newman’s first top-five points finish in 13 full-time seasons. Newman’s previous best was sixth in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
Overall, Newman led 41 laps, posting 16 top-ten finishes overall. Newman’s overall finish of 12.7 is a career best and fifth best among all drivers in 2014.
Newman was one of three drivers to make the Chase without a win in the first 26 races. Seeded 16th entering the first post-season race at Chicagoland Speedway, Newman’s consistency throughout the Chase enabled Richard Childress Racing’s only Chase-eligible driver to advance to the final round.
Newman talked about his feelings after stepping out of the car at Homestead-Miami after his runner-up finish, using humor to put his situation in perspective.
“I was thinking after I got out of the car, our tables really turned if you think about it when Gordon didn't win Phoenix,” Newman said. “If he'd have won Phoenix, Harvick would have been out and we'd have been the top guy at the end of the race. I blame all this on Jeff Gordon.”
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Ryan Newman is involved in a multi-car incident at Watkins Glen International in August.