Story By: JACKSON MARTIN / ROUSH FENWAY RACING – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Ryan Newman battled during a chaotic event at the Daytona Road Course, navigating his Castrol Carbon Neutral Ford Mustang through eight cautions to finish 20th.
The race marked Newman’s second-straight top-20 finish at the track, following his 19th-place run at the inaugural event in 2020.
The entire No. 6 team sported a unique look for the event, with Newman’s Ford Mustang and team uniforms all white and grey in support of the Carbon Neutral initiative announced Thursday by Roush Fenway.
Newman started the race 33rd, with NASCAR setting the field through a formula based on previous races, and quickly moved forward to 29th when the first caution of the day fell as the field crossed the start/finish line at lap 2. Reports of a potential tire rub slowed his progress as he looked to maintain the handling on his Castrol Carbon Neutral Mustang, but he continued to move through the field and was scored 26th by the second caution of the day at lap 11.
With limited sets of tires and the field already showing indications of the yellow flags to come, the team elected to stay out during the second caution and gain valuable track position. The move netted positive results, as Newman finished the first stage in the 20th position.
As the sun began to set on Daytona International Speedway, handling conditions began to change and Newman reported a loose Mustang through the road sections of the course. He would maintain his position despite the handling condition, finishing 26th in the second stage.
The third and final stage began with the longest green flag run of the event, with Newman battling a cluttered middle of the pack until a caution at lap 56 for rain at the track. With a mostly clear radar and under 15 laps left in the race, the No. 6 team elected to keep the racing slicks on instead of changing to rain tires.
With the field bunched up from the caution, the late laps became frenetic. Two successive cautions at laps 59 and 60 saw manic restarts that eliminated several competitors. The veteran Newman kept his cool and calmly picked off positions one by one, ultimately finishing 20th.
The No. 6 team returns to action next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Dixie Vodka 400. Coverage begins February 28th on FOX and SiriusXM Channel 90 at 3:30pm.