Ryan Newman took the quiet, consistent route to Chase berth

Ryan Newman celebrates with fans after earning a Chase berth with his ninth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night.

Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

Quiet and consistent.

Those are the words that can sum up Ryan Newman’s first 26 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, as well as his night Saturday at Richmond International Raceway.

Entering the Federated Auto Parts 400 sitting 15th in the series standings with a 42-point advantage over Clint Bowyer, Newman did not need a miracle to make the 16-driver Chase field. Instead, he just needed yet another quiet and consistent night.

That is exactly what the driver of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet delivered.

Starting from the 12th spot, Newman remained a figure in the top 10 throughout the 400-lap race dominated by Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski.

When the checkered flag fell on Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford, Newman ended the night in the ninth spot, and solidly in the 16-driver Chase field.

Heading into the final 10-race stretch as the 16th seed, Newman believes he can get to the final four with consistency, but knows he will have to turn it up if he wants to contend for the title in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"We’ve shown a lot of consistency and I think that can pay off at times with the exception of Homestead, so if we make it that far, we’ll hopefully have some improvements and a little bit of everything," said Newman, who is in his first year with RCR. "The guys are doing a good job of having better pit stops. ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) is doing a much better job on the engine side. … Everybody has stepped up, and it’s time to step up even more now.

"Luke (Lambert, crew chief) has done a great job," he said. "All these guys have done a great job, and again, as I’ve said before, this will be some of our first time going back to the racetrack for the second time, and that can mean some good news for us."

VIDEO: Ryan Newman is all smiles as he talks about clinching a Chase berth