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Newman involved in three incidents

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          NASCAR NEWS - Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tough day for Newman, involved in three incidents
Stays on track in first two crashes, goes to garage in third
By Raygan Swan, NASCAR.COM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The number of times Ryan Newman was 
hit on the track during Saturday night's Sprint Cup race 
was ridiculous by anyone's standards. 

"We were at the mercy of a lot of untalented drivers," 
said Newman of getting hit three different times in the 
Coke Zero 400 by three different drivers. "Three times 
I was either hit or got hit by somebody that ran out of 
talent. That was disappointing but the guys did a good 
job fighting back." 

Newman knew he would have an uphill battle when the green 
flag dropped Saturday evening at the Daytona International 
Speedway as he would start 32nd on the grid after a 
lackluster qualifying effort. 

Although, Newman said he never would've predicted the 
disaster like the one to play out in the next 136 laps; 
not even for superspeedway racing at Daytona. Defending 
champion of the Daytona 500 in February, Newman worked 
the draft and was making his way into the top-20. 


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Running in the 18th position on Lap 45, Newman's Dodge 
went spinning off the track after contact in the back-
stretch from the No. 26 machine of Jamie McMurray. The 
hit, causing a flat right-front tire, brought Newman 
down to pit road for fresh tires and fuel. 

Newman managed to hold on to his lap, battle back and 
fly by defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and 
crack the top 10 by Lap 108.

The progress wouldn't last long however.

On Lap 124, David Gilliland had his turn at the proverbial 
pinata that was the No. 12 Dodge of Newman. Gilliland said 
he felt a tire going down, got loose and hit the wall, but 
not before taking Newman with him. 

Both cars were running in the top 10 and Gilliland's day 
would be over at this point; however, Newman was able to 
go on. 


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He went on until Lap 136, where a bobble from Martin Truex 
Jr. caused the No. 1 machine to make contact with Denny 
Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota which then collected Newman, again.

Hamlin and Newman both spun and hit the wall causing major 

On his in-car radio, Newman immediately called for his 
crew to meet him in the garage. The blue crew feverishly 
went to work on the No. 12 while Newman sat patiently 
inside while at least 14 laps went by in the race. 

With 10 laps to go, Newman was back on the track and picked 
up a few valuable positions in the race; a race that saw 
at least five wrecked cars and 33 laps of caution.

After the race, Newman, who finished 36th, met his wife 
at his hauler in the Cup garage and tried to contain his 
frustration noting that his team never gave up.

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"Well we didn't, but in the end that's not going to make a 
difference, we lost a lot of points today," he said. 

That said, so will Martin Truex Jr., pointed out Newman, 
who came to Daytona 15th in the point standings, one spot 
behind Truex in 14th. 

As the Chase approaches, drivers are closely monitoring the 
performance of other drivers as much as their own and Truex 
is facing expectedly stiff penalties from NASCAR after 
failing inspection this weekend. His car was impounded and 
Truex went to a back-up car which ultimately finished 17th. 

Of his Chase chances, Newman said, "I don't know, obviously 
the No. 1 car is going to have a dilemma to deal with come 
Tuesday. But we'll see what the points look like." 

Heading to Chicagoland next week, Newman is 185 points 
from the 12th spot that would qualify the driver to make 
the Chase. 

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