Newman Wins the Sylvania 300

Ryan Newman won a thrilling late-race battle with Tony Stewart to win the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, the first race of the Chase for the Championship

Newman Wins the Sylvania 300

The Penske Racing driver retook the lead from Stewart with two laps to go, after Stewart had passed Newman seven laps earlier.

Pole-sitter Stewart dominated the early stages of the race, however he damaged the right-front of his car after crashing into the rear of Dale Earnhardt Jr when the DEI driver slowed down to enter the pits.

Although Stewart's tyres started smoking initially from contact with his fender, the damage didn't permanently hamper his progress, and he battled hard with Newman following a late race-caution for debris.

Stewart now leads the Chase standings by 20 points from Greg Biffle, who finished fourth.

Many of the Chase runners also had strong results. Matt Kenseth finished third and Rusty Wallace, after being penalised by a lap because he pitted outside of his box, secured sixth after a late race duel with fellow veteran racer Mark Martin. Jimmie Johnson's form improved, finishing eighth.

It was not great for every Chase contender, however. Reigning Champion Kurt Busch's hopes of repeating last year's opening victory in the ten-race, ten driver playoff were ruined as early as lap three. Scott Riggs got into a slide and pushed Busch into the wall, heavily damaging the front of his Ford Taurus.

Busch was fuming after the accident and marched down the pitlane to speak to Rigg's crew-chief Doug Randolph.

That was only the first of several incidents of retribution, which led to NASCAR issuing a mid-race call for all drivers to calm down.

Kasey Kahne drove into Kyle Busch during a caution period in revenge for a crash. The 20 year-old Busch pushed him into the wall, wrecking Kahne's Dodge Charger, but the Evernham Motorsports then took his mangled car and drove into Busch under the yellow flag. Kahne made no excuses for his resultant behaviour.

"If people are going to run into you for no reason, then I think that ruining their day too is the best way to do it," Kahne said afterwards.

Robby Gordon threw his helmet at Michael Waltrip, after Gordon believed the DEI driver ran him into the wall after a yellow flag had been shown for a separate incident behind them.

The accident wrecked Gordon's Chevrolet, and after unsuccessfully trying to drive into him when Waltrip returned a lap later, Gordon walked up the track and hurled his helmet at Waltrip.

"It was a caution. He just ran me and he is piece of shit," Gordon said.

 1. Ryan Newman Dodge 300 2. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 300 3. Matt Kenseth Ford 300 4. Greg Biffle Ford 300 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 300 6. Rusty Wallace Dodge 300 7. Mark Martin Ford 300 8. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 300 9. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 300 10. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 300 11. Sterling Marlin Dodge 300 12. Jamie McMurray Dodge 300 13. Brian Vickers Chevrolet 300 14. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 300 15. Michael Waltrip Chevrolet 300 16. Jeremy Mayfield Dodge 300 17. Jeff Green Dodge 300 18. Dale Jarrett Ford 300 19. Carl Edwards Ford 300 20. Ricky Rudd Ford 300 21. Kyle Petty Dodge 300 22. Mike Wallace Chevrolet 300 23. Casey Mears Dodge 299 24. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 299 25. Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 299 26. Scott Wimmer Dodge 299 27. Kyle Busch Chevrolet 299 28. Scott Riggs Chevrolet 299 29. Bobby Hamilton Jr. Chevrolet 299 30. Elliott Sadler Ford 298 31. Joey McCarthy Dodge 295 32. Stuart Kirby Chevrolet 289 33. Dave Blaney Chevrolet 271 34. J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 251 35. Kurt Busch Ford 233 36. Mike Bliss Chevrolet 194 37. Robby Gordon Chevrolet 190 38. Kasey Kahne Dodge 164 39. Jimmy Spencer Dodge 144 40. Ken Schrader Dodge  111 41. Travis Kvapil Dodge 105 42. Ted Christopher Chevrolet 29 43. Wayne Anderson Dodge 16 The Chase for the Cup Standings Pos Driver Points Change 1. Tony Stewart 5230 = 2. Greg Biffle 5210 = 3. Ryan Newman 5190 +7 4. Rusty Wallace 5190 -1 5. Matt Kenseth 5180 +3 6. Jimmie Johnson 5177 -2 7. Mark Martin 5176 -1 8. Jeremy Mayfield 5135 -1 9. Carl Edwards 5121 -1 10. Kurt Busch 5088 -5 
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