(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway welcomed the Superstar Racing Experience back for a second consecutive visit on Friday, July 20th to the Connecticut half-mile facility that was shown live on ESPN. Ryan Newman capitalized on race leaders Ryan Preece and then Tony Kanaan having failing brakes inside of the final 10 laps of the race to surge into the lead and win an SRX feature event at Stafford for the second consecutive season.
Ryan Preece led the field to the green flag and he took the lead on the opening lap after fending off a challenge from Daniel Suarez on his outside. Suarez wasn’t going away quietly as he was all over Preece for the lead before taking the lead on lap-4. Tony Kanaan was third in line behind Suarez and Preece with Tony Stewart in fourth and Brad Keselowski in fifth.
Preece came back to the inside of Suarez on lap-9 to retake the lead with Kanaan, Stewart, and Keselowski still making up the top-5. Ryan Newman was sixth followed by Marco Andretti, Paul Tracy, Bobby Labonte, and Ken Schrader. With 20 laps complete, Preece was still in the lead with Suarez right behind him in second applying heavy pressure. Kanaan had closed in on the back bumper of Suarez in third with Stewart and Keselowski several car lengths behind in fourth and fifth. The caution came out with 24 laps complete.
The race restarted on lap-32 with Preece again taking the lead in front of Suarez. Kanaan got a good run to the inside of Suarez one lap after the restart and he moved into second. Kenny Wallace brought the caution out as his car dropped off the pace.
Preece took the lead on the lap-34 restart with Kanaan holding off Suarez for second place. Keselowski was fourth but Stewart took that place from him on lap-35. Keselowski would lost fifth place to Ryan Newman on lap-36 while Kanaan was looking to close on in Preece at the front of the field.
Preece got loose in turns 1 and 2 on lap-46 which allowed Kanaan to take over the lead. Preece was able to keep going in second with Suarez still in third. Just behind Suarez, Newman was in the process of taking fourth from Stewart and he was able to make that pass stick on lap-48. The caution flag was displayed to the field with 52 laps complete.
Kanaan took the lead on the lap-56 restart with Suarez taking second from Preece one lap later. Newman was fourth in line with Stewart holding down the fifth position. Paul Tracy was up to sixth with Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Andretti, and Hailie Deegan making up the top-10. Preece fell back to fourth as Newman took third place from him on lap-60. Newman continued his charge towards the front as he took second from Suarez on lap-63. Preece continued to slide backwards until he was the last car running on the track on lap-67 at which point he brought his car to pit road.
Newman had closed down the gap Kanaan and with 10 laps to go on lap-70 he was right behind Kanaan in the fight for the lead. The caution came out with 71 laps complete for Deegan and Tracy, who got together and ended up against the turn 2 wall.
The lap-72 restart saw Kanaan go very deep into turn 1 and he hit the wall with his right front, which dropped him to the back of the field and handed the lead over to Suarez. Newman was second with Stewart, Biffle, and Andretti behind him. Keselowski ended up in the turn 1 wall to bring the caution back out with 72 laps complete.
The lap-73 restart saw Tracy hit the wall but the race stayed green with Suarez in the lead with Newman all over his back bumper. Newman made a move to the inside of Suarez on lap-75 to take over the lead while Stewart couldn’t quite follow Newman by Suarez. Andretti took third from Stewart on lap-76 with Schrader moving up to fourth as Stewart fell back to fifth place.
Suarez couldn’t get close enough to Newman over the final several laps as Newman won an SRX event at Stafford for the second time. Andretti finished third with Schrader and Biffle rounding out the top-5.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.