Newman And Crew Engineer Brickyard 400 Victory

Speedway, Ind., July 28-While a fast car is needed to win at Indianapolis, Ryan Newman and crew chief Matt Borland proved strategy plays an equal part in the equation as they used a late two-tire pit call to defeat a dominant Jimmie Johnson and win the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard.

“Matt Borland made an awesome call, “Newman stated from victory lane, acknowledging the importance the pit call made in the victory, “I’ve won more races with him on old tires and out of gas than with four tires.”

“It was just an awesome day for us and this is a dream come true for me,” Newman continued, “I can’t wait to push my lips on those bricks. I don’t realize it yet and it will take a week or so for this to set in.”

After spending most of the day chasing Johnson, who seemed well on his way to securing his record-setting fifth Brickyard triumph, Borland chose to let Johnson and his Chad Knaus led team show their hand first before making their final pit stop. When Johnson made his stop on lap 133 and changed four tires, Newman pitted a lap later and the call was made to only change two tires in an effort to gain track position, a move that paid dividends when coupled with Johnson’s tardy seventeen second trip down pit road. Newman emerged with a four second lead on Johnson and while the defending Brickyard champion drove hard in the final laps, the deficit was too much to overcome as Newman raced under the checkered flag to capture the victory, 2.657 seconds ahead of Johnson.

Johnson, who paced the field for 73 laps, nearly half the race, had to settle for second place despite having the dominant car for much of the event.

“Track position was really important and there at the end we had a little mistake on pit road,” Johnson said referring to the pit miscue that allowed Newman to take the lead,” He took two (tires) and we took four (tires) and once I got back to the track, I had a lot of distance to make up.”

“I think I pitted before them, so it was an easy call for them to do the opposite,” Johnson continued, “The two tires gave them the track position they needed and with the mistake, they had good track position. But we win as a team and lose as a team and we still ended up second. We have a lot to be proud of over the course of the weekend.”

Kasey Kahne kept the leaders in sight for most of the race and had one of the strongest cars in the closing laps, which he drove to a solid third place finish.

“The last two runs we did a lot of passing and made up a lot of ground but we never got to the front,” Kahne explained, “After running a race like that and having everything that went on with our deal throughout the race, I feel really good about running third.”

Tony Stewart also proved to be one of the main players in the event, racing in the top five for most of the day and finishing in fourth place, as Chevrolet swept the top four positions.

“We were fortunate enough to be a top five car all day, just weren’t good enough to be up there with Jimmie (Johnson) and Ryan (Newman),” said Stewart, who was also the race winning car owner, “I knew it was down to Ryan and Jimmie and it was fun to watch but nerve-wracking as a car owner.”

Matt Kenseth’s team used a similar two-tire pit call on the final stop to gain track position and the move gained the Wisconsin driver a strong finish in fifth place.

“Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) made a great call there to get us some track position at the end and from there we were just hanging on to what we could,” Kenseth stated afterwards, “They (Newman and Johnson) were way faster than us and they were up there pretty far.”

“Jimmie (Johnson) went by me so quick that I thought he was going to suck the numbers off the doors,” Kenseth continued, “Ryan (Newman) had a really fast car and we had a top ten car most of the day, but I couldn’t run with those guys.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in sixth position while Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano each led twice for eleven laps before finishing seventh and eighth respectively. Juan Pablo Montoya crossed the finish line in ninth place and Kyle Busch completed the top ten finishers in tenth.

The Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard was completed in two hours thirty six minutes at an average speed of 153.485 mph. The race was slowed under the caution flag three times for a total of fourteen laps and a total of twelve drivers led the race with Johnson’s 73 laps out front, the most among the drivers.

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