Ryan Newman staged a valiant effort in the final race before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but a good night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway just wasn’t good enough for Newman and the No. 39 Quicken Loans team in the Federated Auto Parts 400.
Coming into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ regular-season finale Saturday night, Newman and his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team knew they could only make the 12-driver, 10-race Chase one way – by winning. And for a while during the 400-lap race around the .75-mile oval, it looked as if Newman and his No. 39 Quicken Loans team would engineer an amazing rally to take the second of two wild-card spots and advance into the Chase.
Despite driving from his 14th-place starting spot to take the lead on lap 300 and stay out front for 13 laps, Newman wound up eighth when the checkered flag dropped.
“It’s just disappointing,” said Newman, who earned his ninth top-10 finish of the season despite missing the Chase. “I really don’t know what to s...