“It’s so special, to get the opportunity to drive with the best drivers in the world and be victorious, it’s extremely special,” Newman told CBS in victory lane following the race. “That last restart on the inside, it was the first time I had [that] all night. Just knew that was the place to be. I knew Marco was going to run up on [Tony] Stewart a little bit and was fortunate to come up second [in-line].”
It’s the first win in Newman’s first season on the SRX tour. It’s also Newman’s first major win in stock cars since winning a Cup race at Phoenix in 2017. Perhaps most notably, it’s the first win for Newman since a horrible wreck in the 2020 Daytona 500.
Andretti and Stewart battled for much of the feature, along with Greg Biffle. There was a lot of very close calls, but the three kept it clean until Biffle ran foul of Paul Tracy, who knocked him into the grass. Biffle kept the car undamaged, but could only finish the race in 10th. Andretti and Tracy finished second and third respectively, while Stewart faded off the podium in fourth.
Ryan Hunter-Reay won the first heat from his second-place starting position, but didn’t do much else on the night and finished seventh.
“Big Money” Matt Hirschman had impossible standards to live up to, considering last year’s local ringer Doug Coby won the race and is the only local to win a feature in SRX so far, but he still finished a respectable eighth.
Justin Marks, in a last-minute one-race cameo, finished ninth.
Michael Waltrip finished 11th after sustaining major damage from Tracy to his front fender, while “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville,” Bill Elliott, finished 12th in his final scheduled race in the series.
The only non-competition caution in the feature was a debris caution from Waltrip’s No. 15 car.
Labonte sped past Elliott on lap 2 and never gave the lead back up. In the closing laps, Stewart and Waltrip threatened to challenge the Texan but ran out of laps. The only caution was the competition yellow.
Hunter-Reay passed polesitter Deegan on lap one and led the rest of the way. Bobby Labonte had a close call and locked his brakes up after contact with Elliott, but didn’t hit the wall after skirting through the grass. The only caution was the competition yellow.
About the author
Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.
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