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Newman gets first win of season at New Hampshire

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Amanda Vincent is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

July 18, 2011 | 1,657 views | Post a comment

The 2011 summer race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that culminated in Sunday’s running of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was the perfect race weekend for Stewart-Haas Racing. Both of the organization’s cup entries -- the No. 39 of Ryan Newman and the No. 14 of team co-owner Tony Stewart -- started Sunday’s race on the front row after posting the two fastest lap times in qualifying on Friday. Newman started Sunday’s race from the pole and Stewart was alongside on the front row in the second spot when the green flag waved.

When the checkers flew at the end of the race, once again, Newman was up front and Stewart was second to give SHS its first ever one-two race finish.

“This was a perfect weekend,” Stewart said.

On a track where it’s hard to pass, varying pit strategies that ranged from staying out, taking fuel only to taking two tires or taking four resulted in several drivers spending time at the front of the field and going from the front to the back of the pack each time the caution flag waved.

“We did what we had to do,” Newman said in victory lane of calls to stay out or pit for only two throughout the race.

One thing Newman had to do was conserve fuel. He made his last pit stop on lap 217 of the 301-lap race, putting him a few laps outside the normal fuel window. As several drivers, including Jamie McMurray, Juan Montoya, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski, ran out of fuel in the closing laps, Newman was able to make it to the checkered flag to claim his first win of the season and his third-career victory at New Hampshire.

Denny Hamlin was one of the few drivers who didn’t seem to have much of a problem passing cars on the race track, as he was able to work his way up through the field late in the race to finish third after being in the last car scored on the lead lap late in the race.

“We had to battle back,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Joy Logano, finished fourth, and Jimmie Johnson rebounded to round out the top-five after spinning late in the race.

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