The last Sprint Cup race Ryan Newman won was the Daytona 500 in 2008. That changed in Phoenix Saturday, April 20.
Newman took his first race of the season Saturday night in the Subway 600 at Phoenix International Raceway. It was a close race, but certain pitting gambles late in the race paid off for Newman.
With just four laps, a late-race wreck brought out a caution flag. Leader Kyle Busch and second-place Jimmie Johnson took the caution as a chance to get four new tires. Newman and Jeff Gordan, however, only took two.
Gordon spinned his tires a bit on reentry from pit roll, allowing Newman a slight advantage that he used to pick up the victory. Gordon ended up picking up a second-place finish. Johnson came out of the pits in seventh, but rallied back for a third place finish and led a total of 113 laps.
Busch finished eighth and also led 113 laps on the night. The only other significant laps leader was Juan Pablo Montoya, who led 104 laps and finished fifth.