Ryan Newman has momentum and a good track record heading into Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Newman is coming off a fourth-place finish last Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in six previous starts for Stewart-Haas Racing at Bristol, he has one pole, an outside pole and five top-10 finishes.
Since joining SHR in 2009, the worst finish at the .533-mile oval track for the driver of the Quicken Loans Chevrolet was a 16th-place effort in the spring of 2010.
“It’s just a great racetrack and a great short track,” Newman said Wednesday. “I’ve always liked the banked racetracks, in general, over the flatter racetracks. So, I guess in some ways, you could say I’m more comfortable at Bristol. I think Bristol has always been one of those short tracks that everybody loves. And, obviously, that’s changed with the different surface and the way they’ve changed it a little bit. But, ultimately, it’s still a great short track.”
SHR co-owner/driver Tony Stewart also enters Bristol with momentum. The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was the winner of Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and moved up eight spots to seventh in the Sprint Cup standings after the first three races.
“It’s an honor to drive for Tony and to be part of his team,” Newman said while admitting he considers Stewart more of a friend than a boss. “I know how much last week’s win at Las Vegas meant to him. It was an awesome day for Stewart-Haas for us to get a fourth-place finish in the Quicken Loans Chevy, too. Hopefully, we can keep that up with another pair of top-fives this weekend at Bristol.”
Greg Biffle sits atop the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings followed by Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin.