The Rocket Man is still one of the hardest drivers on the track to pass. Ryan Newman proved this to be true while making his debut in the Camping World SRX Series and finishing third overall behind Helio Castroneves and Bubba Pollard.
Newman turned heads during the second heat race as he battled with fellow NASCAR drivers Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, and Bobby Labonte for position on the track. He ultimately finished third overall in the heat behind Helio Castroneves and Waltrip. He then lined up on the outside of the second row for the main event before immediately jumping into second place.
The 2008 Daytona 500 champion was not in second for very long. He actually jumped to the lead early in the race and spent some time putting the No. 39 Sun Outdoors entry on full display. Though former IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan ultimately overtook him and spent some time of his own leading the field.
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Newman Battled a Standout Super Late Model Driver Throughout the Race
There were 13 drivers on the entry list for the season-opening race at Five Flags Speedway. Newman was one of the full-time drivers alongside Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Paul Tracy, and Ryan Hunter-Reay among others. Castroneves, on the other hand, was a late addition to the lineup.
One other driver making a one-off start was Bubba Pollard. The standout Super Late Model racer with wins in the All American 400 and Oxford 250 among many other prestigious events joined the SRX Series for the trip to Five Flags Speedway, and he immediately showed his comfort on the nation’s short tracks. He started on the inside of the second row, but he had to drop to the rear of the field after getting some work done in the pits.
Pollard was at a significant disadvantage after getting fresh tires, but he immediately worked his way through the field and passed legends from a variety of racing series. He moved up to fifth overall by the halfway point of the race before working his way into the top three.
The final laps of the SRX Series opener featured Castroneves cruising his way to the win without any issues. Meanwhile, Newman and Pollard battled with each other and Tony Kanaan for second place, even going three-wide at one point. The Super Late Model ace ultimately took over second while Newman ended the day third overall.
Newman Has 5 Races Remaining To Pursue Wins
The race at Five Flags Speedway was Newman’s first in the purpose-built SRX Series cars. He contended for the win, led laps, and ultimately finished third while battling with standout drivers from a variety of series.
The Rocket Man will now continue to pursue wins in the remaining SRX Series races. He will next head to South Boston Speedway in Virginia on June 25 for the second race of the 2022 season. He will then round out his schedule with trips to Stafford Motor Speedway (July 2), Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (July 9), I-55 Raceway (July 16), and Sharon Speedway (July 23).
The next three of these races will take place on paved tracks. However, the series will make a change to cap off the season. The final two races will take place on the dirt and test the drivers in other ways as they make their final push for the title of series champion.
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