Newman's been running at the finish of every race so far this season and has 13 top 10s in 26 races. Maybe one of the reasons he's been out of the spotlight is because if you take away that win, his highest finish is fourth.
In the last 10 races, Newman's only finished outside of the top 10 twice. That's huge when it comes to the Chase, but will Newman be able to sneak in to the top three more than once or twice over the final 10?
Newman's best Chase track: His best average finish is at Dover, at about an 11th place finish. But as we mentioned above, he won already at New Hampshire, the site of the second Chase race.
Newman's worst Chase track: Texas Motor Speedway barely edges out Talladega in the average finish department, but how can it NOT be Talladega at this point. For some reason, Newman is gravitationally attracted to crashes at that place. Maybe it's the spirits?
Key Question: It's worth repeating: Newman's going to need a few top 3 finishes to be a contender. Will they happen?
NB's prediction: 6th. Loudon and Dover at the beginning of the Chase play out well for Newman. He's been good enough to be a sleeper pick for the title. But can he be great enough to win it?
- Ryan Newman