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Larson: I understand Newman's situation

November 10, 2014, Staff report,

Sprint Cup rookie will run tripleheader at Homestead

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Ryan Newman said he did what he had to do to pass Kyle Larson in the fourth turn on the final lap at Phoenix International Raceway to advance to the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

And, according to Larson, there appears to be no hard feelings.


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Through a team spokesperson Larson said, "Coming to the finish, there was a lot of cars racing really hard. I knew the 31 was right around me, and knew he needed to gain some spots to keep from getting eliminated from the Chase. It's a little upsetting he pushed me up to the wall, but I completely understand the situation he was in, and can't fault him for being aggressive there. I think a lot of drivers out here would have done something similar if they were in that position."

Newman's 11th-place finish was enough to get him to the Championship Round of four drivers, while Larson finished 13th.

The Richard Childress Racing driver said afterward of the final-lap move, "I kept it as clean, to me, as I possibly could."

Newman needed one position to advance and was trailing Larson and Marcos Ambrose. In the final turn, Newman dived inside Larson and contact sent the rookie out of the racing groove, up the track and into the wall.

"He did the same thing to me in a truck race for about $9,000 to win," Newman said. "To me, there's a Sprint Cup championship on the line. I kept it as clean as I could."

As an interesting sidenote, in January of 2013 Larson shared this Throwback Thursday picture of himself and Newman.

Larson will keep busy this weekend, as he will participate in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series season finales in addition to the Sprint Cup finale. Turner Scott Motorsports announced that Larson will drive the No. 42 truck at Homestead with sponsorship from ParkerStore. The company will also be on board as a primary and associate sponsor for Larson in several 2015 XFINITY Series races. ParkerStore was a partner of Larson's when he was racing midget cars in California.

"I am really excited to be reuniting with ParkerStore," Larson said. "To be able to team up again with a sponsor from back in my midget racing days is really cool. I think we'll make a great team. I'm really looking forward to working with them on and off of the race track. I feel like I have some unfinished business at Homestead in the Truck Series, so I can't wait to get there and see what we can do."


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