AVONDALE, Ariz.— Ryan Newman is hoping for a calm race on Sunday—but he doesn’t expect it.
With one race left to determine the four drivers who will qualify to run for the championship on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Newman won’t be surprised at all if Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET) turns into the sort of wild affair that has typified this season’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Newman needs to finish ninth or better to lock up one of the four spots at Homestead, and he acknowledges that Sunday’s race, the final event in the Chase’s Eliminator Round could become a powder keg.
“Absolutely,” Newman said. “I think there is huge potential. Especially with the extra racing room that we have back there in the dogleg on restarts, I think is going to be quite crazy.
“And I hope that everybody is respectful, and we don’t have a situation that jeopardizes somebody’s chances; and I will keep that in mind.”
Naturally, Newman would prefer not to have to deal with any of the craziness.
“I hope to have it in my mirror,” Newman said. “That’s the best place to be. We were in that position in Talladega and knew what guys had to do to get themselves in, and we were somewhat in that position even at Martinsville, and saw some of the craziness at Charlotte.
“Anything can happen, without a doubt. At some point, you just have to do your job and expect a little bit of racing luck and the racing gods to be on your side.”