By Matt Taliaferro
|Ryan Newman captures first win of 2011 season, Stewart runner-up (Getty)|
Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 was not your typical fuel mileage race.
Ryan Newman passed Clint Bowyer on a lap 260 restart and managed to milk 41 laps worth of fuel around New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s 1.058-mile layout to grab his first win of the 2011 season.
Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Tony Stewart, flexed their muscles early and often in Loudon, N.H. Both were top-3 cars throughout the event’s three practice sessions. They followed that by sweeping the front row in qualifying, with Newman edging Stewart for the pole.
Newman then led a race-high 119 laps — including the final 72 — while conserving just enough fuel to hold off a hard-charging Stewart in the closing laps.
“One of the best cars here that we saw was the 14 (Stewart),” Newman said. “There were a couple other cars at different times, but the 14 was mired back in traffic. He had to run the wheels off of it to get up to where he had some track position so he could try to run us down.
“Fortunately it stayed green. I was more worried about a yellow coming out with five (laps) to go. Do we have enough fuel for a green-white-checkered (finish)? Usually those things that come and squash us didn’t happen today.”
Stewart settled for second, while Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top 5.
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New Hampshire Results