Ryan Newman misses chicane, chance to advance in playoffs

Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — While Ryan Newman‘s crew chief admits “we were probably not in the right” when Newman missed the backstretch chicane with three laps left in Sunday’s playoff elimination race, Scott Graves still doesn’t “understand why it deserved a penalty.”

Newman, racing ahead of Aric Almirola at the time and in position to advance by one point, briefly shot over the curbing of the chicane before returning to the track. He was quickly passed by Almirola.

But Newman did not stop in the frontstretch restart zone – the penalty for missing the chicane. Then NASCAR ordered him to serve a pass through penalty. He didn’t comply.

With so little time left in the race, he was kept on the track by Graves. In the end, a 30-second penalty was tacked onto Newman’s 17th-place finish. Instead of being one point away from advancing, Newman was relegated to a 32nd-place finish, 16 points behind the cutoff.

“It wasn’t going to matter,” Graves told NBC Sports of serving the penalty. “I wasn’t going to give up the spot on track until we could fight for it. … We were on the blue curbing, but I guess you got to be on the red-and-white curbing. It’s not like we advanced our position, we actually lost a position. So I guess I kind of question the rule a little bit. Obviously, you can blow the whole chicane and you can pass three or four cars. If you’re not advancing your position and it’s actually a penalty, for us to do what we did I don’t understand why it deserved a penalty. Those are the rules.”

More: NASCAR details rules for miss chicane

As for Newman’s opinion of the chicane…

“I really don’t like this race track at all, so asking me about the chicane is not going to narrow it down,” Newman said.

Ryan Newman after being eliminated from the playoffs. (Photo by Daniel McFadin)

“It’s not the only mistake I made, but it’s what actually took us out. In the end, just proud of the guys. I let us down on pit road, we had one bad pit stop (stalled on Lap 90). Just lots of little things today. But I felt like I made a lot of mistakes trying too hard. We did not have the race car. That’s what I had to do. I felt like we were in position at one point. Just kept trying too hard to keep (Almirola) behind us. Missed the curbs. It was unfortunate. We came in at a big deficiency.”

Graves knew after last week’s fifth-place finish at Richmond that this weekend would be a challenge because Roush Fenway Racing has not been as strong on the road courses. The team struggled all weekend and wasn’t fast. Changes Graves tried during the race didn’t work and they went back to their setup at the start of the race. Nothing proved effective.

Despite missing the playoff, Newman was given a reason to smile afterward on a hot Charlotte Motor Speedway pit road.

While sitting next to his No. 6 Ford, his daughter Ashlyn helped cool him off by dousing him with water.

“It’s awesome to have her here,” Newman said. “It’s special to me to have her come out and be a part of this. It doesn’t make it all better, but it surely makes it better.”

Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

ARCA Showdown
Leave a comment

ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

Getty Images
Leave a comment

GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

social roundup
Ryan Blaney Twitter
Leave a comment

NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.


Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

Joey Gase
Joey Gase Twitter
Leave a comment

Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter