Story By: BRANDON LEE / ROUSH FENWAY RACING – HOMESTEAD, FL – In a race that saw Roush Fenway shine in more than one way, Ryan Newman was in the thick of the action early and often, ultimately finishing seventh in the 400-mile race in his Oscar Mayer Ford.
“More than anything I’m glad and excited for a good run, it’s what we needed,” Newman said. “Our guys have been working extra hard all offseason, and to come down here and collectively show what we were able to do says a lot about the progress we’ve made. We still have work to do yet, but I’m happy with a top-10 in our Oscar Mayer Ford.”
Newman, a prior winner at Homestead in the Xfinity Series, rolled off 23rd on the grid but quickly inserted himself into the conversation, jumping inside the top-10 by lap 54. For much of the first stage he and teammate Chris Buescher – who went on to lead 57 laps – were well inside the top-10 simultaneously. Following a pair of opening-stage pit stops, Newman finished just one position shy of earning a stage point in 11th.
After starting 13th for the second 80-lap segment, Newman worked his way back to 11th before hitting pit road under the green flag at lap 117. He was one of the first to hit pit road in that sequence and the strategy paid off as he maintained the ninth spot when the yellow came out at lap 153, seven laps prior to the stage end. Newman restarted eighth for the one-lap shootout, but got shuffled back to finish 17th in the second segment.
Following another stop in the stage break, Newman restarted 21st for the final 100 laps, and from there began his march forward. He worked his way back to 15th by lap 199, when the race’s final caution flew. Following another stop, he restarted 13th, and continued charging to the end, ultimately finishing seventh.
After three-straight races in Florida to start the season, NASCAR heads west next weekend to Las Vegas, where the Cup Series runs Sunday afternoon. Coverage is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, and can also be heard on PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.