Roush Fenway Racing’s desire to have a veteran racer onboard has helped maintain the benefit of the No.6 squad.
After Matt Kenseth’s impressive cameo towards the season’s end in 2018, there were calls for Kenseth to race the No.6 car full-time.
But instead, he wanted to spend more time with his family, so Kenseth and RFR chose Newman to carry the work from him.
That kind of work RFR expected to accomplish with Newman is to help the No.6 team close the gap & be on the same page if not better as the sister No.17 crew.
The first few races, including the West Coast swing, may have gone up and down.
But looking back at his run in April, Newman began to build a line of consistency with three straight top 10s:
- Bristol & Richmond, 9th
- Talladega, 7th
A couple of races in between Newman recorded are a few places where some landed not far off the Top 10.
However, the mid-pack or close outside Top 10 finishes has kept Newman’s hopes of entering the Playoffs.
Though throughout the summer Newman continued to break in the Top 10 a couple more times mainly the intermediate and larger tracks were his strengths:
- Michigan, 8th
- Sonoma, 7th
- Daytona II, 5th
- Kentucky, 9th
- New Hampshire, 7th
Again, when it hit into August, Newman’s results went between up and down with back to back close runs:
- Michigan 12th
- Bristol 11th
But Newman bounced during the regular-season finale in the first week of September, where he finished 8th in Indianapolis.
This track in Indiana was one of his strengths, having achieved fantastic results over the last three seasons:
- 3rd, 2017
- 10th, 2018
- 8th, 2019
At the same time, it was Newman’s 11th Top 10 of the year, first one in six weeks dated back to Mid July at New Hampshire.
At the same time, his Playoff place has confirmed as the 15th driver to check in ahead of the finals action.
The first two races, Newman looked so strong with back to back Top 10s.
But one unfortunate encounter at the Charlotte Roval course in 32nd left him eliminated so early.
Having moved on, Newman went on to finish a couple of good and bad races.
As said a little earlier, his strengths are intermediate and larger tracks having finished 2nd at Talladega.
Then a few up and down results before he closed out 2019 in 7th at the season finale in Homestead.
The qualifying part is where Newman will have to improve where he started in the Top 10 just twice last year:
- 7th at Fontana and Kansas
His average (last year) is around 19.9, so if Newman wants a better chance of rack up more Top 5 & 10s, then it’s something he will need to target closer starts throughout this season.
On the flip side, The finishing average (also from last year) is 14.4.
It’s not a bad statistic to hear as Newman can increase down the number of decent finishes going forward:
- The Top 10 percentage throughout is 38.9%, having scored 14.
- 3 Top 5s is also excellent for RFR to reflect on from last year ending at 8.3%.
Now they’re ready for more of the wheel to wheel action v the top teams they once challenged years and years ago.
For Newman to have another decent 2020 with Roush Fenway will have to be:
- Improving qualifying
- More Top 10s and 5s
- Deliver their first win since Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona International Speedway in July 2017
- Make the Playoffs again at least aim for the Round of 8.
Don’t forget; he’ll have a new decent team-mate in Chris Buescher who has a stellar few years at JTG Daugherty Racing.
So the competition between both Roush cars is still fierce.
But the better the competitive results out of both cars, the better it will be for this team to experience a double Playoff assault later this year.
Apart from that, Newman continues to seek impressive gains week in, week out inside the No.6 Ford Mustang.
- Statistics: Racing Reference