Ryan Newman was particularly peeved off after being involved in yet another of NASCAR’s “Big one” accidents at the Talladega Superspeedway.
The reason, frankly, is that he’s been here before.
When his former Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch wound up on top of his car on Sunday, it marked the second time Newman’s been in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time when a car has gone airborne at Talladega.
It also happened at the spring Talladega race in 2009, when Brad Keselowski contacted Carl Edwards, and Edwards’ car came careening toward Newman’s. With a stuck throttle and not being able to see, Newman’s car kept going across the line that day. It was easily the scariest third place finish in recent memory.
Of course, for good measure, Newman also had one of the most spectacular barrel rolls of his own in a restrictor plate race, at the 2003 Daytona 500, some 10 years ago. Then, like now, he has thankfully emerged from all accidents uninjured.
MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”