RICHMOND, Va. – Ryan Newman ridiculed Tony Stewart after the former teammates crashed Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, ending Newman’s hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
Newman blamed the wreck on Stewart, whose No. 14 Chevrolet appeared to cut down on Newman entering the third turn.
“I guess he thought he was in a sprint car again,” Newman said. “Didn’t want to control his anger. (The team) will keep fighting like we always do. It’s unfortunate. Not the end we wanted.
“Just disappointing that you have somebody old like that that should be retired the way he drives. It’s just ridiculous.”
Told that Newman called the contact intentional, Stewart’s responded by saying: “He’s right. That was the third time he had driven into me during the night. How many times does a guy get a free pass until you’ve had enough of it?
“I go into (Turn) 1 there and he dive bombs in there and I’m already coming down. It’s not like I was trying to squeeze him into the infield or something. Ryan and I have been good friends. I don’t do that to him. He gets me in (Turn) 1 and he gets me off (Turn) 2 and it’s the third time by that time. There was once early in the race that nobody saw. Three times, that’s two more times than I normally let somebody run into me.”
The Indiana natives were teammates at Stewart-Haas Racing from 2009-13.
Newman entered the Richmond race trailing Jamie McMurray by 22 points for the final playoff spot. He will miss the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the first time since joining Richard Childress Racing driver in 2014.
“I don’t think there was any reason other than him just being bipolar and having anger issues,” Newman said. “Google ‘Tony Stewart,’ you’ll see all kinds of things he’s done. Look it up on YouTube (and) everything else.”
Stewart will retire after the 2016 season. He qualified for the playoffs by virtue of his victory at Sonoma Raceway after missing the first eight races with a fractured back. He missed three races in 2014 after a sprint car he was driving stuck and killed Kevin Ward Jr.
When it comes to 1.5-mile tracks like Charlotte Motor Speedway, no one driver is getting comfortable in Victory Lane.
Entering tonight’s 310-mile race at Charlotte (7 p.m. ET on FS1), the second Cup race in five days on the oval, the series has seen eight different winners in the last eight visits to a 1.5-mile track.
That streak dates back to June 2019 when Alex Bowman earned his first career Cup Series win in a race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Between that race and Brad Keselowski’s win in the Coca-Cola 600, winners on 1.5-mile tracks included: Kurt Busch (Kentucky), Martin Truex Jr. (Las Vegas), Denny Hamlin (Kansas), Kevin Harvick (Texas), Kyle Busch (Miami) and Joey Logano (Las Vegas).
The Cup Series hasn’t seen a stretch of parity like that on 1.5-mile tracks since 2011, when the last eight 1.5-mile races were won by a different driver.
Here are some other interesting tidbits heading into tonight’s race.
– Jimmie Johnson is entering his 37th and likely final Cup Series points start on the Charlotte oval. His eight points race wins and four All-Star Race wins there lead all drivers.
– Johnson has led 1,936 laps on the Charlotte oval, second most all-time to Bobby Allison (2,338).
– Hendrick Motorsports has 19 points wins at Charlotte by seven different drivers. That number of drivers is tied for the most all-time. Hendrick has seven different winners at Pocono and Talladega. Wood Brothers Racing has seven different winners at Daytona.
– Joe Gibbs Racing has 21 Cup wins since the start of 2019, which is 49% of races. Denny Hamlin has eight of those wins, which leads all drivers. Team Penske is second with nine wins.
– Tonight’s Cup race at Charlotte is scheduled for 208 laps. Only two races at Charlotte were scheduled for less laps and both were qualifying races in 1961 at 67 laps each for the 1961 World 600.
NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton will be on today’s Lunch Talk Live with host Mike Tirico. Today’s show airs at noon ET on NBCSN.
Also on Thursday’s show will be Supercross points leader Eli Tomac.
“Lunch Talk Live” focuses on the current state of the sports world and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, providing guests with a platform to discuss the state of sports, voice their personal stories and detail how they are adapting their daily lives during this challenging time.
You can also watch the show online here.
Today’s scheduled guests are:
- Noon – Robbie Earle, Premier League on NBC
- 12:05 p.m. – Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians manager
- 12:15 p.m. – Chris Simms, FNIA/PFT/Unbuttoned/Notre Dame
- 12:30 p.m. – Jeff Burton, NASCAR on NBC
- 12:40 p.m. – Chris Mullin, Basketball Hall of Famer
- 12:50 p.m. – Eli Tomac, Supercross current points leader
NASCAR announced changes to the Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash races on Thursday.
Here is the schedule:
June 1 – Bristol Motor Speedway (will determine four eligible drivers for first Dash 4 Cash event)
June 6 – Atlanta Motor Speedway (Dash 4 Cash event No. 1)
June 14 – Homestead-Miami Speedway (Dash 4 Cash event No. 2)
June 20 – Talladega Superspeedway (Dash 4 Cash event No. 3)
TBA – Next scheduled Xfinity series race after Talladega (Dash 4 Cash event No. 4)
Each Dash 4 Cash event will have four eligible drivers racing for the $100,000 bonus.
The driver who wins the bonus advances to the next Dash 4 Cash event. The next three-highest finishing Xfinity Series drivers eligible for the series title, qualify for the next Dash 4 Cash race.
Previously, Miami was to have served as the qualifying race and was to be followed by Dash 4 Cash races at Texas, Bristol, Talladega and Dover. All those events were postponed because of the COIVD-19 pandemic.
Almost two months it was originally scheduled, NASCAR will finally hold its first Bristol Motor Speedway race weekend of the year.
The Cup and Xfinity Series continue their marathon of races this weekend. The Cup Series will race on Sunday and the Xfinity Series will compete Monday night.
Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races.
Cup – Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 (3:30 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox)
Forty cars are entered into the race.
JJ Yeley is entered in Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 7 Chevrolet.
Gray Gaulding is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s 27 Ford.
Kyle Busch won this race last year over his brother Kurt Busch.
Denny Hamlin won last year’s night race over Matt DiBenedetto.
Click here for the entry list.
Xfinity – Cheddar’s 300 (7 p.m. ET Monday on FS1)
There are 37 cars entered.
Modified driver Patrick Emerling will make his Xfinity Series debut in Our Motorsports’ No. 02 Chevrolet. Brett Moffitt drove the car in the first six races of the season.
Carson Ware makes his Xfinity Series debut driving SS Green Light Racing’s No. 07 Chevrolet.
A.J. Allmendinger is entered in Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Chevrolet.
Myatt Snider is entered in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet.
Christopher Bell won this race last year over Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer. Chase Briscoe, who finished fourth, is the highest finishing returning driver from that race.
Reddick won last year’s night race over Briscoe and John Hunter Nemechek.
Click here for the entry list.