By admin | October 25, 2008
By Richard Allen
It was a day of several firsts for Ryan Newman at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday.
It was Newman’s first start in the Craftsman Truck Series. It was his first drive in a Chevrolet. It was his first start with a somewhat volatile fellow competitor as an owner. And perhaps most importantly, it was his first win in all of those situations.
Newman held off his teammate for a day, Ron Hornaday, in a spirited late race battle to take the win in the E-Z-Go 200. He became only the fourth driver in the history of the series to win in his first outing. He joined Mike Skinner, Robert Pressley and Kasey Kahne in that feat. He also became the 19th driver in NASCAR history to win in each of the three top divisions in the sport.
This was Newman’s first drive in a Chevrolet in any of the major divisions. Next year he will campaign the ‘bow tie’ brand full time on the Sprint Cup Series.
Also, Newman was driving for owner Kevin Harvick, one of his fellow Sprint Cup competitors. Harvick is known for running a bit hot from time to time. Coincidently, Newman’s boss next year in the Cup series will also be a fellow competitor who is known for having a fiery personality. Tony Stewart, of course, will be the owner of Newman’s Chevy ride next year.
It’s hard to say whether or not Ryan Newman will ever win another CTS race, but the other firsts only served as preparation for 2009 for the South Bend, Indiana driver. He will be driving Chevrolets for Stewart-Haas Racing on the Sprint Cup Series next season.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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