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Ryan Newman edges Jeff Gordon, snaps winless streak in Sprint Cup

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Welcome back, Ryan Newman.

Thanks to a late-race caution and green-white-checkered restart, Newman powered past Jeff Gordon on the restart on Lap 377 of 378 and held on to win Saturday night's Subway 600 at Phoenix International Raceway.

It was Newman's first Sprint Cup victory since the 2008 Daytona 500, ending a 77-race winless skid.

"It's been a long time coming for me to get back in to Victory Lane," Newman said.

Of the final restart, and how it compared to the ones before it, Newman said: "Every restart I had been on the inside I couldn't get going. I'm not sure if Jeff just couldn't get going there or what. But I held my line and got a good shot off of Turn 2 and it was all we needed."

Gordon, who had the outside line, confirmed that he didn't get the restart he wanted.

"I just spun my tires on the restart and Ryan got inside of me on Turn 1," Gordon said immediately after the race. "After that, it was just game over."

Jimmie Johnson finished third, Mark Martin fourth and Juan Montoya fifth.

Late in the race it appeared Kyle Busch was going to secure his first victory of the season. He powered to the lead on Lap 262, passing Johnson on a restart, and never relinquished it until all the lead-lap cars elected to pit when a caution came out with two laps left in the scheduled distance.

Seven teams took two tires only on the final stop, with Gordon coming off pit road first followed by Newman, Martin, Matt Kenseth and A.J. Allmendinger.

Almendinger enjoyed his first pole for just 17 laps before losing his lead during a round of pit stops under the first caution.

Brad Keselowski got turned on Lap 198 when he failed to clear Martin Truex while making a pass to bring out the sixth caution. Johnson led at the restart on Lap 202.

David Reutimann of Zephyrhills wrecked on Lap 257, which brought out another caution and sent all the lead-lap cars to pit road for fuel and tires. Johnson came off pit road first and led on the restart on Lap 262.

Busch, however, drove around Johnson on the restart and claimed his first lead of the race.

With 40 laps remaining, Busch continued to hold a solid lead followed by Johnson, Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Montoya. With 30 laps left, Busch led followed by Johnson and Gordon.

The top three remained the same with 10 laps remaining, but Busch fell back after pitting on the final yellow flag.

Other circuits

INDYCAR: Will Power, the winner of the seasons's first two races including the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, earned the pole for today's inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham. The Team Penske driver covered the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park at 118.057 mph, edging Mike Conway (117.197), who starts a career-best second.

GRAND-AM: Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the Porsche 250 in Birmingham, Ala., in a BMW Riley, extending their points lead in the Daytona Prototype category. Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato won the GT class in a Mazda RX-8.

NHRA: Larry Dixon led Top Fuel qualifying heading into today's eliminations at the Springnationals in Baytown, Texas, with a run of 3.772 seconds at 323.19 mph. John Force held the top spot in Funny Car at 4.021 seconds, 316.08 mph, Mike Edwards (6.539, 212.43) led Pro Stock and Hector Arana (6.856, 195.25) topped Pro Stock Motorcycle.

FAST FACTS

Sprint Cup points

The standings through seven of 36 races. The top 12 drivers through 26 races make the Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Jimmie Johnson 1,073—

Matt Kenseth 1,037 36

Greg Biffle 98192

Kevin Harvick 961112

Jeff Gordon 948 125

Clint Bowyer 885 188

Jeff Burton 873200

Carl Edwards 873 200

Tony Stewart 869204

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 866207

Joey Logano 862 211

Kyle Busch 855 218

Up next

Samsung Mobile 500, 3 p.m. April 18, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth

TV: Ch. 13

Ryan Newman edges Jeff Gordon, snaps winless streak in Sprint Cup 04/10/10 [Last modified: Sunday, April 11, 2010 1:32am]
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