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Newman steals win after late caution

But regardless of the post-race ramifications the damage was done, and the race was going into green-white-chequered (GWC) conditions. That meant up to three attempts to restart the race, and providing they made it around one lap to the white flag then whatever flag came out after that (green or yellow) would be treated as the chequered flag and freeze the race positions.

Sounds easy, but while the cars were running around waiting for this GWC finish to take place they were burning fuel. And those cars that had been pushing their fuel consumption to the very limit couldn't afford these extra laps without fearing they were about to run dry at any moment: the front row of Gordon and Johnson in particular.

They were already three laps over the scheduled race distance when the green flag came out for the first GWC finish attempt. But it barely got underway before Clint Bowyer did a banzai dive-bombing move down the inside of the track, making it three-wide with Gordon and Johnson on the front row.

That didn't work out particularly well.

Bowyer nudged Gordon who bumped Johnson, who spun, as did Bowyer himself. And in the confusion that followed, the Stewart-Haas Racing #39 of Ryan Newman followed through in Bowyer's wheel tracks and took the lead before the caution flashed on again.

"It was just a bad situation for everybody," said a contrite Bowyer. "If I didn't go down there, the #39 had already hit me in the rear and he was going to [take the line.] We'd just all run out of real estate and that's the nature of the beast at this place."

“He said he got hit from behind by the #39,” said Gordon. “He came through there with so much speed, there was no way ... I got a good jump, but then I spun the tyres. I knew he was right there. I moved down a little bit but when he just shot down there I guess he got hit from behind. At that point I was just a passenger."

That left the race back under yellow and preparing for another GWC attempt - but it was a restart too far for Jeff Gordon. He was out of gas, leaving the front two rows at the restart consisting of Newman, AJ Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. Matt Kenseth would succeed in ousting Truex from fourth place in the final two laps of the racing.

The win was undoubtedly a sheer stroke of good luck for Newman, who earlier had been hit with a pit road speeding penalty and needed a lucky dog free pass to get back on the lead lap, after the long caution-free runs on the short oval during the afternoon had resulted in the majority of the field being lapped at one stage. Even so, he had to be careful at the final restart not to blow the opportunity that had been handed to him on a silver platter.

"It was really important to me to not spin my tires and get a good start and race AJ and try to eliminate the #88 from the race for the win," he said. And he managed exactly that, being scrupulously fair with Penske Racing's new driver Allmendinger in the process.

"He ran me really clean," said Allmendinger, who had been feeling ill at the start of the day but who was pleased to have hung in there after a trip to the in-field care centre. "He didn't shove me up the race track like he could have. He gave me the opportunity to beat him on the outside there. We were just not turning good enough ... But we had a shot at it. That's all you can ask for."




Related Pictures

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Jeff Gordon leads Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Fast Relief 500 a Martinsville Speedway on Sunday in Martinsville, Va. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Right to left) Ryan Newman leads AJ Allmendinger and the rest of the field to the final restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday in Martinsville, Va. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman (#39) slides by as Clint Bowyer (#15), Jeff Gordon (#24) and Jimmie Johnson (#48) spin to cause the final caution during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday in Martinsville, Va. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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chriszx7 - Unregistered

April 11, 2012 12:15 AM

Having watched the race, I wouldn't doubt Reitueman turned his car off on purpose because he was black flagged. And tie rods retain to steering, not the motor...



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