Ryan Newman’s day went south in a hurry during Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway.
After starting 19th, he had worked his way inside the top 10 and was running ninth when the engine suddenly let go, forcing him straight to the garage just before the conclusion of Stage 2.
“The bottom end of the motor just broke. We finally got the Caterpillar Chevrolet running well, not to where we needed to be, but better from how we started the race,” Newman said in the garage. “We knocked a hole in the grill from a spring rubber or something. I watched what I hit, but I couldn’t tell what it was.”
Earlier in the race, that debris threatened to derail his day. But the team was able to make the handling manageable for Newman. In fact, his No. 31 Chevrolet had worked inside the top 10 before mechanical issues sidelined that solid finish.
“Finally got enough tape on it so it would run warm and stick a little bit better,” he explained. “We made a whole bunch of changes to the car, but something in the motor broke. Bottom end for sure, I’m not really sure what happened first.”
Officially, the reason given when the No. 31 team retired was the oil pump. Newman was the first driver out of the race and will finish dead last in 40th.
The result marks the second straight DNF for the Phoenix Raceway winner, who was 14th in points entering the night. Newman had six straight top-12 finishes at Kansas before this bad luck struck on Saturday night.