Ryan Newman is happy to be in the Chase for the Cup. But NASCAR bettors who wagered on the No. 39 to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 are feeling a bit of road rage.
Newman was included in NASCAR’s version of the postseason after it was discovered that Clint Bowyer could have intentionally spun his car out to preserve his Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr.’s spot in the 12-driver Chase.
Newman, who was priced at 40-1 to win at Richmond this past weekend, was leading the race with seven laps to go before Bowyer’s spin brought out the caution flag and prompted a restart. Newman would eventually be surpassed by Carl Edwards, taking away a victory that would have moved him past Truex Jr. in the point standings and given bettors of the Quicken Loans Chevrolet a nice payday.
NASCAR reviewed the race and radio conversations between Michael Waltrip Racing and discovered that not only was Bowyer’s accident questionable but MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager Ty Norris forced driver Brian Vickers to pit in order to allow Joey Logano to advance a position in the final standings.
That was enough for NASCAR to hit MWR with a $300,000 fine, drop Truex from the Chase and hand the spot to Newman, who is a 40-1 long shot to win the Sprint Cup Championship. While that may be redemption for Newman, his loyal backers are still left wondering what could have been. Racing fans who had Edward at 18-1 to win the Federated Auto Parts 400, however, will gladly take the tainted checkered flag.
Bowyer is the lone MWR driver to qualify for the Chase and could have a target on his back at 12-1 odds. Jimmie Johnson is the overall favorite to win his sixth career Sprint Cup title at +150. Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are both priced at +350 behind the No. 48 car.
The first stop on the Chase for the Championship is Chicagoland Speedway for the Geico 400 this Sunday.