INDIANAPOLIS – A born-and-bred Hoosier, Ryan Newman reveres Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track he first visited in1986.
A victory at the famed Brickyard? That would be a dream come true for the South Bend native.
Newman made his boyhood dream a reality, taking the checkered flag Sunday to end a 49-race winless streak in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.
Newman was as cool and collected in victory lane as he was on the track when he held off Jimmie Johnson in the Crown Royal presents the Samuel Deeds 400.
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“I don’t show a lot of emotion, I think everybody knows that,” said Newman, who likened the victory to his Daytona 500 triumph in 2008. “I had the same emotion, the same thankfulness I did when I won the Daytona 500 because I feel everybody that has been a part of my racing career — from people that bought my racing uniform, bought me a right-rear tire, given us a credit card to get to some racetrack at some point in my career — those are the people that helped me get to where I am today.”
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw finished third and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 24th of 43.
Newman, who won by 2.657 seconds, had a 10-second, two-tire change on his final pit stop. Johnson’s unusually slow final stop took 17 seconds for four tires.
Newman’s victory comes as he is looking for a job.
Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart told Newman two weeks ago he won’t be back in 2014.
• Lewis Hamilton snapped a drought, winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest to match Michael Schumacher’s track record of four victories.
The Mercedes driver seemingly didn’t expect to win his first Formula One race since the United States GP in November, saying beforehand he would need “a miracle” despite starting from the pole. Hamilton beat Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus by 10.9 seconds.
• Ron Capps raced to his second Funny Car victory of the season in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in California.
Other category winners were Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock field) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).