Martinsville Sprint Cup winner Ryan Newman said he was not to blame for the late incident that eventually allowed him to snatch victory.
Newman charged back from an early pit road speeding penalty to be in position to contend for a good finish in the closing stages, restarting fifth for the first attempt at a green-flag finish, following a late caution. He then got a great restart and bumped third-placed Clint Bowyer ahead of turn one just as the Michael Waltrip Racing driver was launching an attack on leader Jeff Gordon. Bowyer hit Gordon and Newman emerged ahead and in the best position for what turned out to be the final restart of the race.
Bowyer tried to point at Newman's bump as the cause for him ending up hitting Gordon and igniting the multicar incident, but the Stewart-Haas racer denied that being the case.
"Well, if I was in Clint's position, I would have tried not crashing the guys and won the race," said Newman. "I mean, I was trying to do the same thing to him as he did to the 24 [Gordon], and he actually, whether he was trying to block me or he was just trying to get his run on the 24, he pulled down and my little bump, I think it was a pretty good shot, propelled him up next to the 24."
"Whether he hit Turn 1 faster than he wanted to or not, he still has got three pedals on the car and a steering wheel; it's his job to control it. I don't know if he hit the curb or if he ran out of room or the 24 pinched him down. It doesn't matter."
Newman led on the final restart, fending off AJ Allmendinger, who was trying for his first Sprint Cup victory.
"The good thing is, we came out on the inside on the right side, and it was just a matter of racing AJ clean on that next restart. I felt like I wasn't racing AJ on that restart.
"I felt like I was racing (Dale Earnhardt) Junior behind me, because I didn't want the same thing to happen, because I've seen it happen so many times here.
It was really important for me to not spin my tires and get a good start and race AJ and try to eliminate the 88 from the race for the win."
Newman's eventual victory is the third of the season for Stewart-Haas Racing and the second in as many weeks for the squad, following Tony Stewart's win last week at Fontana in a rain-shortened event, which he dominated in its late stages.