Ryan Newman calls Clint Bowyer spin 'not entirely an accident'

Tom Pennington

Having seen and heard the evidence, Ryan Newman now believes Clint Bowyer intentionally caused a caution that knocked him out of the Chase.

In the immediate aftermath of not qualifying for NASCAR's Chase in large part due a suspicious spin by Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman kept his feelings fairly guarded.

But two days later and after having seen the damming video and heard the accompanying audio, Newman left no doubt how he felt calling it "not entirely an accident."

He made the comments Monday during what was supposed to be a celebratory teleconference announcing he had signed to drive for Richard Childress Racing next season.

However, with a NASCAR investigation ongoing and pile of evidence strongly suggesting Michael Waltrip Racing deliberately manipulated the outcome of Saturday's race at Richmond, the topic was unavoidable.

"I was extremely disappointed to see and hear some of the things that went down," Newman said. "I think that that's relatively obvious to any fan or non-fan of our sport to know that it kind of goes without saying what happened."

As the facts became unearthed late Saturday night, Newman says he couldn't sleep and has struggled to work through things "mentally, emotionally or even physically."

"I pretty much had to stress myself to sleep Saturday night," he said. "I had my phone in my hands and was communicating with different people at different times about different things. ... It became more disappointing the more we dug into it.

"But it didn't just affect me, it affected Jeff Gordon and at the same time (Joey) Logano and (Martin) Truex."

Newman had no comment when asked on what kind of penalty NASCAR should hand Bowyer and MWR. But as officials review the evidence and decide whether to issue any sanctions, Newman stressed that the credibility of the sport was at stake.

"In the end, how NASCAR handles this is extremely important for all of us," he said.

With Richmond the last race of the regular season and because there is Chase berths up for grabs, one thing Newman wants is for NASCAR to be proactive in monitoring team communication.

If officials had heard the No. 15 team suspiciously ask Bowyer if his arm hurt and then told him to "itch it" the circumstances that unfolded over the final seven laps could have been prevented.

"We knew there was potential for this going into this race, so I guess I would have hoped that we would have been able to monitor this situation," Newman said. "This is something that is brought up in every Richmond driver's meeting.

"In the end, it's like we saw there was potential for fire, but nobody grabbed the extinguisher."

More from SB Nation:

Did Clint Bowyer intentionally spin himself out?

Carl Edwards wins wild Richmond race

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