CONCORD, N.C.—Early in Friday’s second practice session, Ryan Newman reported that his No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet was “blowing up.” The team subsequently confirmed that Newman’s car would require an engine change.
The crew began work immediately in the Cup garage, but the engine change consumed the final 50 minutes of practice, and Newman got no laps on the new engine. On top of that, Newman will lose his third-place starting spot because of the engine change and will start Saturday night’s race from the rear of the field.
“We started off in Happy Hour to a long run, and we got about six laps into it, and it started tightening up,” said Tony Gibson, Newman’s crew chief. “So he shut it off and came in, and there is definitely something big wrong.
“It’s too bad when you’ve got the track position, but that’s part of it, and we’ll get after it.”
Kyle Busch led final practice at 188.383 mph, followed by Regan Smith, subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet.