Newman eeks out first Chase win

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2005

LOUDON, N.H. (AP) - Ryan Newman hadn't won a NASCAR Nextel Cup race in a year and it looked as if he lost another opportunity when Tony Stewart muscled past him with nine laps to go at New Hampshire International Speedway.

''When Tony got by me, I thought I was done. But he never walked away,'' Newman said after hanging tough and passing Stewart for the victory just two laps from the end Sunday in the Sylvania 300.

Newman, who barely squeezed into the 10-man Chase for the championship, picked a good race to regain his winning touch, getting off to a fast start in the 10-race playoff.

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''We raced clean, we raced hard, we had fun,'' said the winner, whose last victory came last Sept. 26 in Dover, Del.

Stewart, who started from the pole, dominated through much of the race, leading 173 of the 300 laps on the 1.058-mile oval. But Newman won the late battle, passing Stewart on lap 299 and holding the top spot by two car-lengths.