The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 29, 2013

Indiana native Newman wins Brickyard 400 at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Newman fulfilled the childhood dream of so many who grew up in Indiana — winning at storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Newman, from South Bend, ended a 49-race losing streak with Sunday’s victory at the Brickyard, and he did it by beating Jimmie Johnson.

Again.

Newman set a NASCAR track record in knocking Johnson off the pole in qualifying, then used a fast final pit stop Sunday to snatch the win from the four-time Indianapolis winner.

The two were the class of the field — they combined to lead 118 of the 160 laps — but it was Johnson who dominated the race and appeared to be just a bit better. But Johnson pitted from the lead with 27 laps remaining and it was a slow final stop for the Hendrick Motorsports crew.

Newman pitted after that and took only two tires to move into the lead after the green-flag stops cycled through the field. The closest Johnson would get to him again was when he paid a congratulatory visit to Newman in Victory Lane.

Newman was remarkably composed as he took the checkered flag and in Victory Lane.

“I don’t realize it yet. It’s a dream come true,” he said. “It can’t hit you all at once, it’s not good enough. It will take a week or so for it to sink in.”

The victory comes as Newman is looking for a job.

Stewart-Haas Racing has signed Kevin Harvick to join the team next season, and team co-owner Tony Stewart informed Newman two weeks ago he won’t be brought back in 2014. It didn’t change the post-race mood, as Stewart hustled to Victory Lane, lifted Newman from behind and the two shared a long embrace.

“He just had an awesome weekend,” Stewart said. “I kept looking up the board and watching and I was scared to ask where he was at and how big of a lead he had. I didn’t want to jinx him. Just really proud of him — he’s a great teammate and an even better friend.”

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