Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Ryan Newman who finished in the 14th place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 12th
Top 5s: 6
Top 10s: 14
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“While he boss brought home the title, Newman quietly improved for most of the year. The problem was when it came down to it, he faltered during the Chase. The only reason he didn’t finish further down was because Kyle Busch missed a race and Kurt Busch just had a miserable Chase. Newman has the tools at Stewart-Haas Racing, I just feel there are 11 stronger teams ahead of him, and I haven’t seen any changes to suggest he can beat them.”
What Happened In 2012:
Newman got a win at Martinsville, but it came from Clint Bowyer cleaning out the competition. He was able to deliver 14 Bloomin’ Onion Mondays for fans, but missed out on the Chase. Newman again showed flashes of brilliance on the track, but then was just out to lunch at other tracks. He was also shut out on winning a pole all year long, something he had never had happen since he started in the Sprint Cup Series in 2002. A change in crew chief led to a 12th at Texas, fifth at Phoenix, and third at Homestead. The team might be in the right direction, but let’s see if they don’t cool off during the offseason.
On To 2013:
Stewart-Haas Racing did not perform with the expectations they had coming into the season, so they will really need to turn it up for 2013, adding a third car. Newman has to also worry about Kevin Harvick, is Harvick going to a fourth team or replacing him in 2014?