NASCAR At New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Stewart-Haas Racing Finally Heats Up

Stewart-Haas Racing: 1st, 2nd

There is no questioning which team had the strongest run Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart were fast in the weekend's practice sessions, swept the front row in qualifying and finished Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 with the team's first ever one-two finish.

The solid run was much-needed for the two-car team. Going into Sunday's race, Stewart was on the outside of the Chase looking to race his way in and Newman was one of only two Chase eligible drivers without a win.  That all changed Sunday after the SHR duo took the top spots in New Hampshire.

Stewart said it was "no secret" the team had struggled throughout the year, suffering from poor luck and untimely cautions that often followed strategic pit calls. Yet throughout the disappointing results, the team kept their heads together and remained focused.

"Our guys at our shop just keep plugging away, they keep working, they keep their chins up," Stewart said. "That's probably what I'm most proud of. It's easy when things are going right. But when times are tough and you have a day like today, you see how your organization battles. That's to me what shows the character of what Stewart‑Haas Racing is about, what our people are like."

"We've been really good and we've been really good for three‑quarters of the race, then we'll come home fourth, fifth, tenth, not maybe make the right call, strategy, whatever it is to put ourself in the box of top five to close out the race," Newman said. "There have been times where we had failures, bad pit stops. All those things add up.

"Today it all came together for us. We proved what we were capable of."

Hendrick Motorsports: 5th, 11th, 15th, 22nd

While Stewart-Haas Racing thanked Hendrick Motorsports for their support following Sunday's race, their Hendrick counterparts were left wanting more at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson was able to rally back from a spin initiated by Juan Pablo Montoya to finish fifth, but his day was not without its trials. After struggling throughout the weekend, Johnson qualified 28th and was forced to deal with a poor pit stall and lack of track position early in the event. Making matters worse, the No. 48 pit crew continued to have trouble, making the five-time champions day even more challenging.

Teammate Jeff Gordon also had a strong car throughout Sunday's race, yet faced multiple electrical issues. The team was forced to change both batteries in the No. 24 Chevrolet, but he was able to make his way back to the front of the field. That is until a blown tire on the last lap dropped him to 11th. Despite the multiple issues, Gordon remained pleased with the performance.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s tumble down the point standings continued Sunday in New Hampshire, as he finished 15th and dropped to ninth in the points.  

Mark Martin was able to use pit strategy to take the lead early in the race, but was caught up in a spin on Lap 184 of the race. Martin finished 22nd at the end of the day and dropped to 20th in the standings, down six spots in just four races.

Red Bull Racing: 6th, 34th

A promising run for both Red Bull Racing machines was cut short when the pair tangled with Dave Blaney off the exit of Turn 4 on Lap 225. With Kasey Kahne on the outside of Blaney, the No. 4 Toyota caught the No. 83 of Brian Vickers and sent him into the outside frontstretch wall.

"Kasey and I have always raced well together in the past as teammates, so I don't think anything was intentional," Vickers said. "Once again, we had a really good car. Just another case of wrong place at the same time."

The damage ended Vickers' day, but Kahne was able to continue on to a sixth-place finish.

"It's a teammate so I wouldn't usually stay there with Brian because we race each other really clean," Kahne said. "But it was Blaney, and he was going backwards because they were just a little bit off the pace, which is perfectly fine and they do a great job. He's going to let me go as we're going down the straightaway - I know that from racing with him all the time.

"Then it would have been two-wide for me and Brian back at the start-finish so I thought we would just stay there. Brian must not have known that I stayed there. He probably thought that I was going to back out. I wish that wouldn't have happened for sure, but I was there."

Joe Gibbs Racing: 3rd, 4th, 36th

Richard Petty Motorsports: 9th, 12th

Michael Waltrip Racing: 8th, 19th

Penske Racing: 10th, 35th

Roush Fenway Racing: 13th, 14th, 18th, 20th

Richard Childress Racing: 16th, 17th, 21st, 24th

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing: 30th, 31st  

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