That's A First: Newman Wins All-Star Shootout
Newman Wins Whelen All-Star Shootout
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Jerry Gappens, General Manager
LOUDON, N.H. - Ryan Newman has been in every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race since 2004, but has never been to victory lane. Well, he's an All-Star winner now, using a last-lap pass of Justin Bonsignore to win Friday's inaugural Whelen All-Star Shootout modified race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"The racing you see in Modified (Tour) is awesome. There is drafting and they are a lot of fun to drive." said Ryan Newman, who earned his spot in the Shootout having been a two-time modified winner at Loudon. "It was an opportunity to win a trophy, so we did that."
Bonsignore, Mike Stefanik, Ron Silk and Bobby Santos round out the top-five.
The 40-lap, two-segment race featured 20 cars driven by previous winners, champions and the 2013 Sunoco Rookies of the Year from the Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour. After the first 20-lap segment, officials spun a wheel to determine the number of drivers that would be inverted for the second segment. The number 10 came up, inverting the top-10. Newman, who was sixth at the time, moved to fifth.
"We didn't really gain anything in the inversion," said Newman,"but we went from fifth to the lead in one lap. I don't think it helped me, but it hurt some other guys."
Among those it hurt were Bobby Santos and Ryan Preece, who were top-three cars before the inversion, but finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Stefanik, the all-time modified wins leader at NHMS with eight, moved from a top-10 car to a car that contended for the lead - something the now retired pilot was absolutely looking to do even with the Sunoco 100 Whelen Modified Tour race on Saturday.
"I was not easing up knowing the 100-lap race is Saturday," said Stefanik. "Even with a race the next day, you are going to race the same way. I don't think anyone was saving anything."
"That was good practice and we went as hard as we could," said Bonsignore. "It was good for a test and I thought it was a good race. Tomorrow is going to be great."
Newman will look for the modified sweep in the Sunoco 100, one of two races on Friday. The Sunoco 100 will run at 1:00 p.m. followed by the Sta-Green 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at 3:30 p.m.
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