Stewart-Haas Racing Review—Top 10s at Michigan Make a Good Points Day

The field takes the green at Michigan
Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR
With time ticking down until the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ryan Newman put himself in a good position to make the championship field after a stellar run at Michigan. Tony Stewart, however, remains in tenth place and must avoid a bad race weekend to join his SHR teammate in a run for the championship.

Ryan Newman led the SHR duo at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway when he grabbed a fifth-place finish in the Wix Filter Chevrolet. Newman started the race from the third spot after a solid qualifying effort.
Newman moved up one place to seventh in the Sprint Cup points with three races to go before the Chase field is set. With a win this year, he has put himself in a good position to make the Chase.
Newman was running in eighth when a caution flag came out at lap 198 of Sunday’s scheduled 200-lap race. The seven cars in front of him stayed on the track but the No. 39 came to the pits and took two tires and a splash of fuel.
“It was a really good team effort,” Newman said. “We were in the right position to make the two-tire call and get the track position. On the restart, we started 10th and just had a good enough restart to make it to the top-five. Good run for the WIX Filters Chevrolet. I’d like to thank WIX Filters and all the people there for helping us out and sponsoring us for this race. Same goes for the U.S. Army and Tornados. We’ll go get them in Bristol.”
The fifth-place result moved Newman closer to securing the coveted spot in the Chase.
“We gained on the guys behind us,” Newman said. “We’re as far into the Chase right now as we were out last year, and we only have a few races left. We’re in a good position. We’ll try to get a good next few races and then we’ll have a better shot at the championship.”
Tony Stewart grabbed a ninth-place finish but complained about his car and his team’s inability to make the correct adjustments. 
"I don't know what we have to do to get our car balanced for a day, but we can't," Stewart said.  "We haven't figured it out, yet.  We were on both sides of the coin all day long.  Just back and forth between tight and loose. We'll just take what we can get, I guess."
The former Sprint Cup champion is in danger of missing the chase field for the second time in his career if he has a major problem in any of the next three races. 
Stewart took a hit in the points when he finished 39th at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway June 26 after he felt Brian Vickers was trying to block him during the road course race and hit Vickers from behind.  Vickers retailated and wrecked the No. 14.  
If Stewart misses the chance to run for another championship, he can look back at Infineon.  With three solid finishes, however, both SHR teams could once again be running for a championship.
Stewart-Haas Racing Review—Top 10s at Michigan Make a Good Points Day Stewart-Haas Racing Review—Top 10s at Michigan Make a Good Points Day Reviewed by Rosalie Thompson on Monday, August 22, 2011 Rating: 5