• 64°

Newman skips late pit stop, stuns NASCAR field in Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Ryan Newman gambled and skipped a tire-changing pit stop to move from seventh place to the lead and held on for the final two laps for a surprise victory in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series race.

The 39-year-old Newman, who broke a 127-race winless streak, held off Kyle Larson, the second-place finisher for the third straight race.

Kyle Busch, the leader for nearly all of the final stage of the race, was third on a day when the temperature soared to 97 degrees at Phoenix International Raceway.

Like nearly all the rest of the field, Larson and Busch went to the pits on the late caution caused when Joey Logano’s car blew a right tire and slammed into the wall six laps from the finish.

Newman, in his first win since the 2013 Brickyard 400, gave Chevrolet its first victory of the season and ended a 112-race losing streak for Richard Childress Racing.

Once again, Logano’s misfortune foiled Busch. Last week Logano’s car knocked Busch’s into the wall on the final stretch in Las Vegas. That led Busch to storm down pit row and throw a punch at Logano, creating a scuffle with the crews and a meeting for the drivers with NASCAR officials on Friday.

Busch took the lead with a quick pit stop during a caution flag and led for 113 laps before heading to the pits after Logano’s crash.

The series of runner-up finishes gave Larson the Cup points lead, the first time Chip Ganassi Racing has led the points race this late in the season since 2002.

Larson, with two new tires on his Chevrolet, came out of the late pit stop with two new tires ahead of Busch’s Toyota and had the best chance to catch Newman. But he couldn’t find a way to get around the veteran.

Logano won the first stage and Chase Elliott the second in NASCAR’s new three-stage racing system.

Elliott dominated the second stage but lost the lead after Matt Kenseth, like Logano, blew a right front tire and slammed into the wall on the 193rd lap of the 314-lap race. In the ensuing pit stop, Busch got out quicker than Elliott to take the lead.

Blown tires were a common site on the hot pavement.

Logano’s woes

Logano started on the pole and won on the same track in the next-to-last race of last season. He was in third place coming out of the pits during a caution flag between the second and third series but was penalized for speeding on pit row.

The held him back a lap and he had climbed his way through about half of the field before the tire blew.

A week ago, Busch was penalized for pit row speeding.

Up next

The Cup’s “NASCAR Goes West” tour heads to Fontana, Calif., next Sunday for the finale of its three-race spring trip to the West.

Comments

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day