Despite a crash and 39th-place finish Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Ryan Newman’s shot at a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth isn’t over.
Neither, apparently, is his contact with A.J. Allmendinger.
Newman was battling for seventh with 18 laps remaining at Pocono when his No. 31 Chevrolet was tapped into a spin by Allmendinger’s No. 47 Chevy.
The wreck between drivers in the Richard Childress Racing alliance knocked Newman out of a Sprint Cup race for the first time since last August at Watkins Glen International.
“It’s pretty obvious what happened,” Newman said. “(Allmendinger) just ran out of talent. He has got one coming now.”
Allmendinger, who finished 38th because of a broken radiator damaged in the incident, expressed remorse on his team radio, blaming his bobble in the corner on a lack of rear grip with a car on the outside such as Newman’s was.
“That’s my bad,” Allmendinger radioed his team. “My fault.”
A season-worst finish dropped Newman to 15th in the points standings, but the Richard Childress Racing driver remains in range of a provisional berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. With 10 winners through 14 races, Newman is ranked 16th on the grid for the 16-driver Chase – despite having been docked 50 points for making illegal tire modifications at Auto Club Speedway in March.
Pocono marked Newman’s fourth race without crew chief Luke Lambert, who is serving a six-race suspension. He has averaged a finish of 18.2 under interim crew chief Todd Parrott.