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Newman skips late pit stop, stuns NASCAR field in Phoenix

(AP) — Ryan Newman gambled and skipped a tire-changing pit stop to move from seventh place to the lead and held on for the final two laps for a surprise victory in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series race. The 39-year-old Newman, who broke a 127-race winless streak, held off Kyle Larson, the second-place finisher for the third straight race. Kyle Busch, the leader for nearly all of the final stage of the race, was third on a day when the temperature soared to 97 degrees at Phoenix International Raceway. Like nearly all the rest of the field, Larson and Busch went to the pits on the late caution caused when Joey Logano’s car blew a right tire and slammed into the wall six laps from the finish. Busch took the lead with a quick pit stop during a caution flag and led for 113 laps before heading to the pits after Logano’s crash. The series of runner-up finishes gave Larson the Cup points lead, the first time Chip Ganassi Racing has led the points race this late since 2002.

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