Federated Auto Parts 400 - Practice

Sprint Cup Driver Review: Ryan Newman

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After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, my colleague Tony DiZinno and I are taking a look back on how each of the 13 Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders fared this past year.

In his final year with Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Newman finished 11th…

No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
2013 Stats: 11th Place, One Win, 6 Top-5s, 18 Top-10s, 128 Laps Led
Average Start: 15.6
Average Finish: 16.0
DNFs: 5

Estrada Says: Mixed bag, anyone? First, the good bits: Indiana boy Newman won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then made the Chase after NASCAR lowered the boom on Michael Waltrip Racing and Martin Truex Jr. following the race manipulation scandal at Richmond. But on the flip side, Newman lost his ride at Stewart-Haas Racing, which maintained it didn’t have enough funding for a fourth team at the time; just weeks later, SHR’s co-owner Gene Haas managed to sign Kurt Busch for a fourth program (Newman eventually captured a 2014 drive at Richard Childress Racing). Once in the Chase, Newman couldn’t stay in the title hunt for long as a 35th place result at Kansas pretty much did him and the No. 39 team in.

DiZinno Says: An odd year for Newman really. Had his moments of brilliance, with the Brickyard win,and two pole positions a year after he went pole-less. Never seemed a true title contender, though, even as he ascended to SHR’s only championship hope when his team boss and teammate Tony Stewart got injured in a sprint car crash. And it was during that injury period that the process of replacing Newman began, which naturally lowered Newman’s desire to want to help his current team while seeking new employment. He threw his pit crew under the bus in the immediate aftermath of Richmond but then got in on after the MWR penalties. A change of scenery will likely do both parties well in 2014.

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Sainz airlifted to hospital following practice crash

xxxx during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 10, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.
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Carlos Sainz Jr. has been airlifted to hospital after a big crash during the final free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday morning.

Under braking at turn 13, Sainz lost the backend of his Toro Rosso car, causing him to hit the left-hand wall before slamming into the TecPro barrier at the end of the run-off area.

The session was immediately red flagged as medical crews tended to Sainz, taking 20 minutes to extricate him from the Toro Rosso car due to how it had pitched under the barrier.

FIA media delegate Matteo Bonciani told reporters: “The driver is conscious and is still in the process of being extricated. When we know something, we will let you know.”

After being extricated from the car, Sainz was taken away on a stretcher before being placed in an ambulance, giving a thumbs up to let fans know that he was okay. He is also reported to have been talking to doctors in the medical centre after the crash.

Sainz has now been airlifted to hospital for further checks, and is set to miss qualifying later today, with Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost telling BBC Sport: “To sit him in the car immediately seems a bit risky, but we will wait and see.”

The damage caused to the TecPro barrier has also caused the planned GP3 race to be cancelled, giving the track workers time to carry out repairs ahead of the F1 qualifying session later today.

Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET on Saturday.

Rosberg tops shortened FP3 in Russia after Sainz crash

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 09:  Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP drives during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 9, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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Nico Rosberg set the pace in final practice for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday morning as the session was called early following a heavy crash for Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr.

With 25 minutes remaining, the session was stopped when Sainz slammed into the wall at turn 13, pitching in under the TecPro barrier at the fastest point of the circuit.

A loss of power on the car meant that Toro Rosso could not make contact with its driver, causing concern as the medical crew was sent to the crash site to tend to Sainz.

Replays showed that Spaniard lost the back-end of his car under braking coming into turn 13, causing him to hit the wall on the left-hand side of the track before travelling down the track and into the wall at the end of the high-speed straight.

After being extricated from the car, Sainz was shown on TV cameras to be moving around on a stretcher, giving a thumbs up before being placed into an ambulance.

“The driver is conscious and is still in the process of being extricated,” FIA media chief Matteo Bonciani told reporters. “When we know something, we will let you know.”

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost added: “As far as I am informed, he is conscious. He is now with the doctor. I think that he is so far okay.”

With qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix due to start in just two hours’ time, it is unlikely that Sainz will be able to take part in the session, with Tost believing it to be “too risky”.

The amount of damage caused to the barrier could also result in delays across the course of Saturday’s running, with GP3 scheduled to race before the F1 qualifying session. The early sunset in Sochi could also cause problems towards the end of the day.