NASCAR’s 2009 Top 12

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my review of the finishers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. As you’ll recall, #83 Brian Vickers finished 12th, #99 Carl Edwards finished 11th and #9 Kasey Kahne finished 10th. Finishing in 9th, is #39 Ryan Newman.

At the end of 2008, Ryan left his Penske Dodge team to join Tony Stewart in Tony’s new Stewart-Haas team. Ryan didn’t make the Chase in 2008, but he did this year with his new team. However, he did not have a win this year, and started the Chase for the Sprint Cup in tenth, behind Carl Edwards, who was higher in points after 26 races.

The first two races at New Hampshire and Dover went well, both with top 10 finishes, moving him up to seventh in points. His 22nd place finish in Kansas brought him back down to tenth. A fifteenth place finish at Auto Club Speedway in California and eleventh at Lowes were followed by a top ten finish of seventh at Martinsville.

Then came Talladega, where he ended the race with a spectacular crash, having Ryan flying through the air and landing with the hood of his car on the hood of the #29 car of Kevin Harvick before finally landing on the roof. That caused a Red Flag for clean-up and to turn the car right side up so Ryan could get out of the car. The caution happened with five laps to go. Ironically, it was team mate and owner #14 Tony Stewart that got him airborne. Ryan finished 36th and dropped a spot to eighth.

In Texas, he finished 12th, but fell another spot when #11 Denny Hamlin finished second. Phoenix has never been good to Ryan, but he did manage to finish 20th, keeping his ninth place in the points.

In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami, he only finished 23rd, leaving Ryan in ninth place for the year. Not a stellar season for Ryan, but by no means terrible in his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing. (The #12 car that he left, finished 32nd in points with David Stremme behind the wheel.)

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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