Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway was rough for both Stewart-Haas Racing teams, with Ryan Newman leading the way in the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet Impala. Newman’s lap of 172.988 mph (31.216 seconds) put him 19th in the starting field, well ahead of Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet. Stewart’s lap of 171.483 mph (31.490 seconds) was good enough for only a 35th-place starting spot on the grid.
Newman finished 14th in Cup Series points behind Kyle Busch. Newman had one win and 14 top 10 finishes in 2012.
Stewart and Newman both had congratulatory remarks for Cup Series champ Brad Keselowski and owner Roger Penske. “Congratulations to Brad and Roger Penske and everyone at Penske Racing,” said Stewart. “We know how hard it is to win a championship, and they earned this one.”
Newman, who spent nine seasons at Penske Racing before joining SHR, said, “He (Penske) deserves this probably as much as anybody else, if not more because of what he’s done for motor racing in general. His dedication to all forms of racecars is probably more than anybody else in the history of auto racing. I know this is probably one of the sweetest moments in his racing career.”