The race at new Hampshire would prove to be yet another shake up in the series points standings as the leader coming in, Kyle Busch, would take a huge hit in the points dropping four spots and Carl Edwards moved into the series lead over Jimmie Johnson by 7 points.
[media-credit name=”Kirk Schroll” align=”alignright” width=”231″][/media-credit]Newman moved up from 9th to 8th in the series standings and locked in the treasured win to assist the driver with his chase berth. Teammate Stewart held steadfast in 11th.
Polesitter Newman led 119 of the 301 laps ran today. Newman’s teammate and boss, Stewart took over the lead on lap 6 and then Newman retook the lead on lap 39.
The first caution of ten yellows came out on lap 31 for debris.
Newman restarted next to Kurt Busch who took over the lead on lap 41. Busch drove in clean air for 20 laps until the next caution flew on lap 61 when Kyle Busch blew his right front tire sending him into the outside turn three wall. Busch went to the garage for 77 laps and finished in 36th place.
Caution number four come out after Brad Keselowski blew a tire in the same corner as Kyle Busch.
On lap 172 Denny Hamlin spun out in turn two collecting Andy Lally after a chain reaction from Juan Pablo Montoya would go into A.J. Allmendinger, causing Allmendinger to spin Hamlin.
Lap 185 Mark Martin spun out in turn two after his left rear tire blew.
The next restart would have Busch leading for six laps until Stewart came on scene for the next 23 laps when the next caution flag came out for debris.
Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose both led for 4 laps when the ninth caution came out after Brian Vickers and Kahne made contact coming out of turn four.
In the closing laps several teams were worried about fuel mileage. But it did not worry the Stewart-Hass teammates as they closed out the last ten laps of the race as they started, first and second.
The win was Newman’s 15th victory in 351 Sprint Cup Series starts. This is also the first time that Stewart-Hass finished first-second.
Newman is the 13th different race winner this season as well as his first victory and ninth top ten finish this season. Newman is no stranger to winning at New Hampshire with this race being his third win at the track.
LAP BY LAP COVERAGE
Welcome to New Hampshire!!
It seems like the talk is about not only the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but the big talk is the fight for the last treasured transfer positions to make it into the Chase.
From 11th place Tony Stewart down to 20th place Joey Logano will need to make essential finishes and collect as many points as you can, including the treasured win. We will keep an eye out on not only Stewart and Logano, but will watch Clint Bowyer, Juan Pablo Montoya, Greg Biffle, David Ragan, Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger and wily veteran Mark Martin.
Funny enough though Stewart Hass teammates Stewart and pole setter Ryan Newman will lead the 43 drivers into the 301 laps on the track. David Reutimann will start 3rd, Kurt Busch 4th and Brad Keselowski 5th.
GREEN FLAG as the drivers come jamming into turn one. Newman has a great jump with Stewart as the wingman. Lap 2 sees Kurt Busch taking over second place and the top 5 single file. Montoya started his day 8th passing Jeff Gordon to take 7th. Menard slips down one to 10th.
Lap 5 Allmendinger started 17th moves up three to 14th. Lap 6 into 7 Stewart is your new leader. The laps click off quickly and we are into lap 15 as Stewart runs 1.3 seconds in front of Newman and 2.3 seconds in front of 3rd place Kurt Busch.
Lap 19 Allmendinger continues his move to the front into 11th. Lap 21 the start and park list kicks off with Jeff Green and Mike Skinner in the garage.
YELLOW FLAG lap 29 for debris. Michael McDowell is the lucky dog. The field heads to pit road. Newman is the first out followed by Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Stewart with a slow stop.
GREEN FLAG lap 34 for McMurray for remaining on track. Lap 38 as the tires come up to proper air pressure for the drivers, Newman takes the lead followed by Kurt Busch. McMurray holds third. Brian Vickers started 21st and a great stop moves him into 14th.
Lap 40 Kurt Busch is the new leader. Lap 43 Bowyer had a rough stop dropping 9 spots to 23rd from his start of 12th. Lap 45 Jeff Gordon started his day 7th and continues his fight to take 6th. Lap 48 Jeff Burton takes 4th from McMurray.
Lap 49 we see a few battles on the track between teams as Denny Hamlin battles Logano for 17th and takes it along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. versus Jimmie Johnson to take 22nd.
Lap 50 your top twenty drivers are Kurt Busch, Newman, Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Burton, Reutimann, McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Allmendinger, Regan Smith, Montoya, Vickers, Kevin Harvick, Hamlin, Logano, Biffle, Keselowski and Martin.
Lap 56 where are the drivers we are watching? Stewart is 3rd, Bowyer down to 28th, Montoya to 14th from 8th, Biffle 17th from 20th, Ragan 23rd from 26th.
YELLOW FLAG lap 59 as Kyle Busch blows a tire heading into turn three and wrecking into the outside wall. Busch takes it to the garage. It looks like the tire popped after making several contacts with Earnhardt Jr. No lucky dog. The race back is Newman, Stewart, Kahne, McMurray and Truex Jr.
It looks like Allmendinger has heavy damage on his car as he is back on pit road and the hammers are in use. Bowyer was on pit road.
GREEN FLAG lap 65 with Martin leading the field for a few moments until turn three not stopping for a pit stop. Lap 65 into 66 Newman is the leader once again. It looks like Kyle Busch will be in the garage for a long time or out of the race today from the damage.
Lap 71 a bit of movement on the track as Martin holds onto 2nd at the moment from his start of 24th. Kahne started 10th and is 4th after Stewart takes 3rd. Truex Jr. started 13th and is up to 5th, Harvick 6th from 18th, McMurray holds 7th after the last round of stops and his start of 25th.
Lap 79 Biffle has moved up to 10th from 20th, Ragan 13th from 26th, Vickers 14th from 21st. Lap 80 drivers slipping back are Reutimann from 3rd down to 17th, Montoya 8th to 21st, Keselowski from 5th to 24th and Kyle Busch 19th to 39th and still in the garage.
Lap 84 Stewart Hass Racing is the front runners as Newman leads Stewart by 1.1 seconds and the rest of the field is 2.7 seconds behind Stewart. Lap 87 in the garage we see Green, Skinner, Nemechek, McDowell, Busch, Darnell and add Casey Mears to the list.
Lap 90 Mike Bliss, Scott Wimmer, Andy Lally, David Stremme and Landon Cassill could be the next drivers on the lap down list. Lap 94 looks like Burton is all over Harvick for 6th place. Lap 95 the next battle looks like Logano versus Smith for 19th. We also see Montoya, Keselowski and Bobby Labonte fighting for 24th. Smith hangs onto 19th.
YELLOW FLAG Lap 100 for debris in turn three. No lucky dog. The field is in for the next stop. Newman and Stewart remain as first and second followed by Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Burton. Looks like Johnson remained on track this time to have the lead. The rest of the top twenty are Harvick, Kurt Busch, Menard, Vickers, Hamlin, Smith, Reutimann, Logano, Kenseth, Montoya, Martin, Bowyer, Truex Jr. and Biffle.
There have been nine lead changes among six leaders so far and three cautions.
GREEN FLAG lap 105 and a great restart for Johnson and a bit of help from Kahne as a pick to hold back the rest of the field. Stewart slips back to 6th along with Newman down to 3rd with two tire stops while others have taken four or swapped two tires left one stop and right the other.
Lap 110 Jeff Gordon has an issue with his electrical system and the team has Gordon switch to his back up battery on his car to see if the issue is resolved. Lap 113 Kahne in turn two on the inside of Johnson for the lead but Johnson holds him off. At the same time of the battle Burton has captured both drivers to make it a three way battle for the lead.
Lap 115 Burton on the inside of Kahne for second. Heading into turn three Burton takes second but is out of shape allowing Kahne to cross over and take the position back. Lap 117 Newman slips back to 5th, Stewart 7th. Lap 118 Kurt Busch takes 5th from Newman who also slips behind Stewart into 7th.
Lap 121 Johnson has Kahne on his side to take the lead with Burton and newcomer Gordon in his mirror for 2nd and 3rd. Lap 125 your top ten drivers are Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Burton, Johnson, Kurt Busch, Stewart, Newman, Logano, Vickers and Biffle.
Lap 127 Jeff Gordon takes the lead. Lap 131 as Gordon leads where are the challengers 11th through 20th in the standings prior to the race? Stewart is 5th, Bowyer 12th, Montoya, 13th, Biffle 8th, Ragan 21st, Menard 15th, Kahne 3rd, Allmendinger 23rd, Martin 16th and Logano now 8th Biffle 7th.
Lap 135 Kyle Busch is back in the race 76 laps down. McMurray and Johnson are one lap down. Gordon could still have an issue as the team may think his alternator is not working correctly. Harvick is on pit road and we hear that Martin may have the same issue as Gordon with the electrical.
YELLOW FLAG lap 144 as Keselowski pops his tire and slams his car into turn three outside and almost the same place as Busch. Stremme is the lucky dog and the leaders head into pit road. We have a new set of drivers in the front. Kurt Busch is the leader followed by Vickers, Logano, Reutimann and Montoya.
GREEN FLAG lap 150 (151 to go) as Kurt Busch brings the cars back up to speed. Stewart and Newman are 13th and 14th. Lap 154 was almost dead in turn three and four. Somehow he is able to get going again. He lost all power and by switching to the other battery was able to get going but slips back to 35th.
Lap 158 Ragan is all over Montoya for 6th place. Martin all over Kahne for 9th and he takes it. Keselowski is in the garage like Busch was earlier.
YELLOW FLAG lap 161 for debris / fluid in turn three after someone had engine issues. Kyle Busch is the lucky dog. A bit of time for cleanup.
GREEN FLAG lap 168 as Kurt Busch and Vickers are even into turn one but out of turn two Busch has it. The next lap Carl Edwards started 15th and is up to 3rd.
YELLOW FLAG lap 170 after a Denny Hamlin spin out in turn one. The drivers bunched up where Hamlin was tapped from behind by Allmendinger who was tapped by Montoya. Gordon fell a lap down from the last pit stop and a battery change, gains it back as the lucky dog this time.
GREEN FLAG lap 175 as Kurt Busch hops back in front of Vickers. Lap 176 Martin was in the middle of a pack but no damage from it. Lap 177 three wide on fresh tires between Ambrose, Montoya and Earnhardt Jr. for 14th. Ambrose has it.
Lap 178 Burton takes second from Vickers. Lap 183 Kurt Busch leads and Stewart is making his move forward back to 5th. Newman is 8th.
YELLOW FLAG lap 184 as Martin blows a left rear tire in turn two.
GREEN FLAG lap 189 between Kurt Busch and Edwards. Both drivers are neck and neck until turn four where Busch has it. Keselowski is back in the race. Lap 191 Stewart takes over second place. Lap 192 as Stewart closes in on Busch, Newman moves into 4th.
Lap 194 Stewart for the lead heading into turn three. Lap 196 Earnhardt Jr. has moved into the top ten a few laps back to 8th followed by Johnson in 9th. Lap 197 Johnson passes Earnhardt Jr. for 8th. Harvick closes in on Earnhardt Jr. on the next lap.
Lap 200 (101 to go) as Stewart leads Kurt Busch by 1 second, the rest of the top twenty drivers are Edwards, Newman, Vickers, Reutimann, Johnson, Montoya, Earnhardt Jr., Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bowyer, Allmendinger, Burton, Logano, Ambrose, Hamlin and Biffle.
So far we have seen 7 cautions that have lasted for 31 laps. 15 lead changes have been seen so far among 10 leaders.
Lap 207 Johnson passes Reutimann for 6th place. Jeff Gordon has been moving up in the field to grab 8th. Lap 211 Harvick is slipping back in the field down to 15th. Stewart leads by 2.1 seconds over Edwards. Lap 214 Jeff Gordon and Vickers battles for 6th.
YELLOW FLAG lap 216 for yet more debris. The field heads into pit road. The race back is Bowyer, Montoya, Burton, Biffle and Newman.
GREEN FLAG lap 222 as Marcos Ambrose and Logano lead the field back to racing as the two remained on track.
YELLOW FLAG lap 225 as Vickers was on the inside three wide of his teammate Kahne and Dave Blaney, bounces off the left front nose of Kahne and wrecks into the front straight wall.
GREEN FLAG lap 230 with pole setter Newman on the outside of Bowyer for the lead. Newman takes it by the start finish line. Lap 233 our top ten drivers are Newman, Bowyer, Biffle, Burton, Kurt Busch, Edwards, Earnhardt Jr., Hamlin, Kenseth and Smith.
Lap 234 Biffle to the inside of Bowyer to take second. Lap 236 Burton and Kurt Busch pass Bowyer for 3rd and 4th.
YELLOW FLAG lap 240 as Johnson spins out in turn two, breaking free to spin out. Earnhardt Jr. has an issue with a tire getting loose on pit road and falls to the back.
GREEN FLAG lap 245 with Newman and Kurt Busch lead us into turns one and two. They are followed by Hamlin and Edwards. Lap 247 Kurt Busch on the inside of Newman for the lead but no dice. Lap 248 Edwards on the inside of Hamlin for 3rd and takes it.
Lap 251 (50 to go) with the top twenty drivers of Newman, Kurt Busch, Edwards, Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, McMurray, Logano, Stewart, Smith, Bobby Labonte, Kahne, Montoya, Cassill, Truex Jr., Ragan, Burton, Johnson, Bliss and Allmendinger.
45 to go as Newman’s car is all up to tire pressures, pulling away from Kurt Busch by a half second. Stewart is 7th to see where the rest of 11th through 20th are. Bowyer is 23rd, Montoya 12th, Biffle 19th, Ragan 16th, Menard 29th, Kahne 10th, Allmendinger 18th, Martin 27th and Logano 7th.
38 to go as Hamlin passes Edwards for 3rd. Out of turn four Edwards bangs into the back of Hamlin a bit rough. Gordon passes Edwards as well as Stewart to take over 4th and 5th.
35 to go Johnson is back on the move to 11th. 34 to go Newman leads Kurt Busch by 1 second. It looks like the leaders might be short on fuel.
30 to go Johnson works on Kahne for 10th. 28 to go as Edwards and McMurray battle for 7th. 27 to go Smith is falling back to 11th after getting passed by Kahne and Johnson.
25 to go where Newman leads Kurt Busch by 1.2 seconds. 23 to go where Kurt Busch is under attack by Hamlin and Jeff Gordon. Hamlin takes 2nd. 21 to go Gordon backs off of Kurt Busch just a bit for 3rd, but Stewart closes in.
20 to go we hear that McMurray (running 7th) has no radio and the team works on making a sign that says, “Save gas.” Stewart takes third, Gordon takes 4th.
15 to go Newman over Hamlin by 1.4 seconds. 13 to go Johnson is up to 8th. 12 to go Stewart starting to close in on Hamlin.
10 to go Johnson moves into 7th, Stewart continues to close in on Hamlin. 9 to go into turn three Stewart on the inside of Hamlin to take second. Kahne takes 8th from McMurray.
6 to go Smith is running out of fuel but makes it to pit road.
5 to go Newman may be saving on fuel, but Stewart is not and 1 second back.
4 to go Newman down to a half second and McMurray out of gas but on pit road.
3 to go Newman pulls back out by a few car lengths
2 to go it’s the Newman Stewart show.
WHITE FLAG as Montoya is out of fuel and maybe Edwards too. Newman in turn three and four…
CHECKERED FLAG for Newman followed by Stewart.
The rest of the top ten are Hamlin, Logano, Johnson, Kahne, Bobbie Labonte, Truex Jr., Ambrose and Kurt Busch.
The race lasted for three hours. We saw 21 lead change among 14 leaders and 10 cautions for 44 laps.