In April's race at Talladega Superspeedway, it was Ryan Newman's Chevrolet that launched Carl Edwards' Ford - which was already airborne - into the frontstretch catch fence.

Newman subsequently went on record as one of the most outspoken critics of NASCAR's seeming inability to keep the race-cars on the pavement.

On lap 185 of Sunday's Amp Energy 500 at Talladega, it was Newman's turn to tumble end over end - backward - when his car took off from the racing surface after contact in close quarters turned him sideways.

Newman's #39 Chevy landed on its roof - squarely on the hood of Kevin Harvick's car - slid hard into the outside wall and rolled down the banking to finish upside-down on the infield grass. After safety workers righted the car, they cut Newman from the wreck.

The incident only reinforced Newman's strong views.

"Pretty sore - just really disappointed," Newman said after his release from the infield care centre. "We had this race back here in the spring and complained about cars getting airborne, and now, ironically, I'm the guy that gets upside down.

"I had the roll bars down on top of my helmet and stuck upside down inside my U.S. Army Chevrolet."

A good portion of the race featured the cars racing in a long single-file train. Harvick talked about being on 'cruise control'. Another driver asked his team to 'tell me something to keep me awake'. The two big wrecks occurred in the final 10 laps.

"It's just disappointing," Newman said. "I wish NASCAR would do something. It was a boring race for the fans. That's not something anybody wants to see. At least I hope not. If they do, go home - because you don't belong here.

"It's just a product of this racing and what NASCAR has put us into with this box (rules) and these restrictor plates with these types of cars - you know, with the yellow line (no passing zone), no bump-drafting, no passing.

"Drivers used to be able to respect each other and race around each other. Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison and all those guys have always done that. I guess they don't think much of us anymore."

Newman's teammate, Tony Stewart, meanwhile was also involved in the same wreck along with Elliott Sadler, Harvick, and Marcos Ambrose.

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News



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