Smoke Signals: Top 10 Finishes for Stewart and Newman in Sylvania 300

Qualifying for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway yielded two top 10 starts for Stewart-Haas Racing, as Tony Stewart qualified third in the No. 14 Mobil One/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala with a speed of 134.568 mph (28.304 seconds), and teammate Ryan Newman qualified eighth with a speed of 133.934 mph (28.438 seconds) in the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet. Newman, who also participated in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, is still seeking his 50th Cup Series pole.

photo: Getty Images for NASCAR/Todd Warshaw
Stewart made the move to the front just four laps into the 300-lap race, getting around pole sitter Jeff Gordon and outside pole sitter Kyle Busch, and increased his lead to 1.4 seconds by Lap 13. Busch reeled in Stewart by the time the competition yellow flag flew on Lap 41, and following pit stops, Stewart placed third. Stewart, like many competitors, complained of tight conditions throughout the race, and crew chief Steve Addington and the No. 14 team continued to make adjustments on each stop.

The combinations finally clicked toward the end of the race: on the final restart with just 22 laps remaining, Stewart rallied from 10th place, passing Newman, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano to move up to seventh at the checkered flag. “It might’ve been a solid result, but we need to be better than that,” said Stewart on the SHR website. Stewart dropped back one spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup to fourth, but sits just 10 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

Newman spent a quiet day in the top 15, resulting in a 10th-place finish. “It just seems like I never got the corner flow right,” said Newman on the SHR website. “We got the balance halfway close, but we never go the entry-middle-exit quite right. So it was a decent finish for the Aspen Dental Chevrolet. It was just not what we wanted. We’ve had Aspen Dental as the primary sponsor twice this year, and we got a fifth at Daytona in July and a 10th today. Two top-10s aren’t bad, but we’d like to get them a win, too.” Newman sits in 14th in driver standings, 24 points behind Kyle Busch.


With Denny Hamlin’s win, Joe Gibbs Racing earned its 100th Sprint Cup Series victory. Stewart, who drove the No. 20 Home Depot car from 1999 to 2008, earned 33 of those wins for the team. Greg Zipadelli, Competition Director at SHR and Danica Patrick’s crew chief on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, earned 34 wins as a crew chief for JGR – 33 with Stewart and one with Logano.
Smoke Signals: Top 10 Finishes for Stewart and Newman in Sylvania 300 Smoke Signals: Top 10 Finishes for Stewart and Newman in Sylvania 300 Reviewed by Paula on Monday, September 24, 2012 Rating: 5