The Rocket Man has kicked off his Fourth of July weekend with a return to Victory Lane. 18-time Cup Series winner Ryan Newman captured the Camping World SRX Series race at Stafford Motor Speedway after an intense battle with Marco Andretti.
Newman did not start at the front of the pack on July 2. Instead, he started the 75-lap main event ninth overall behind such drivers as Hailie Deegan and Bobby Labonte. Newman then patiently worked his way through the field and avoided incidents that damaged Michael Waltrip’s entry and sent Greg Biffle through the grass. Newman ultimately bumped Andretti with an aggressive move and took the lead with six laps remaining.
“It is so special,” Newman said during his post-race interview as he posed with his daughters. “I’ve got to thank everybody at SRX for this opportunity. … To have these two girls right here, nobody knows what that means to me. I got choked up the last couple laps and seeing the smiles on their faces kind of took those tears away.”
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This Race Was Newman’s First Televised Win in Several Years
There were several reasons why the win at Stafford Motor Speedway was special for Newman. Having his daughters present was chief among them, but the race also marked his first win in several years.
The last time Newman reached Victory Lane in a televised event was in the NASCAR Cup Series. He captured the March 19, 2017, race at Phoenix Raceway while driving for Richard Childress Racing.
Newman came close to winning multiple other times prior to the end of his full-time Cup Series career. This run includes top-five finishes at such tracks as Talladega Superspeedway, Richmond Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, and Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt).
Of course, the most famous almost-win was the crash in the 2020 Daytona 500 on the final lap, which destroyed Newman’s No. 6 Ford Mustang and sent him to the hospital.
The SRX Series actually discussed this incident during the second week of the SRX Series season and revealed that Newman still had the crumpled stock car in his possession. He showed the safety measures that save his life in the violent collision, explained how much it meant to race again, and then he went out and delivered a win one week later.
Newman Stacked More Points With the Win
The win was massive for Newman for numerous personal reasons. It also provided the opportunity for him to stack more points to his SRX Series season total and maintain his lead in the championship standings.
Newman entered the Stafford Motor Speedway weekend with the most points in the series, and he continued to build upon his advantage. He reached 76 points after the first heat race before adding another seven in the second heat race. Now Newman is up to 108 total points, per TobyChristie’s Joseph Srigley.
The SRX Series drivers have completed three of the six races, and two winners are in a fierce battle for the championship lead. They also have two of the best nicknames in NASCAR history.
The Rocket Man leads the standings while Tony Stewart (Smoke) is 11 points behind him. NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte is one point behind Newman and in a tie with two-time IndyCar winner Marco Andretti.