Newman making quiet Chase run?
Photo by Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images
Ryan Newman (left) is involved in an on-track incident with Michael McDowell and others at Watkins Glen International Sunday.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
Outside of Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International, NASCAR Sprint Cup veteran Ryan Newman has had the quietest season of his career.
Newman entered Sunday’s race at The Glen fifth in points and the second-highest ranked driver in points without a win. Newman was running on the lead lap before the lap 56 incident relegated the driver to a 41st place run.
For not getting much coverage, and leading only ten laps all season, Newman vocalized his concern for the safety of the competitors at the racetrack after leaving the infield medical center.
“The SAFER barrier that doesn't exist here,” Newman said to ESPN. “There are no concrete walls.
“It's just a very antiquated racetrack and the safety is not at all up to NASCAR's standards… It's a shame that we have to have accidents like that to prove it. Hopefully something will change the next time we come back.”
Newman now sits eight in points, 19 points inside the Chase with four races left till the field is reset at Richmond in September.
Despite having an average finish of 15th this year and eight top-ten finishes, Newman, dubbed the Rushville Rocket, just can’t take off from there.
2014 is Newman’s first season at Richard Childress Racing and consistency has allowed the driver to stay most of the season inside the Chase cutoff, but a win still eludes him. The new Chase format puts emphasizing on winning more than ever.
So with no wins so far this season, it’s looking like Newman is questionable on making the Chase. If he does, I don’t think he has what it takes to get out of Dover and survive the Challenger Round of the Chase.
RCR is in a rebuilding stage and Newman is the veteran leader they need. Unfortunately for Newman and the team, experience isn’t enough for wins let alone a championship.
However, expect to see Newman step up his game over the next few seasons to prove that he can lead these new drivers and RCR to a bright future, but not a championship contending one right now.