Newman's winless streak reached 59 races on Sunday when rain denied him a chance at victory at Pocono Raceway. NASCAR stopped the race seconds before Newman pulled alongside Jeff Gordon in a challenge for the lead, and he was frozen in second place.
Newman had about 30 minutes to wonder what might have been as he and Gordon waited on pit road for the rain to subside. It never happened, NASCAR canceled the rest of the race, and Gordon was credited with his fourth victory of the season.
Instead of lamenting his bad luck, Newman considered it karma.
“Unfortunately, the rain came on the wrong lap,” Newman said. “I'm not mad by any means. I won my first race because it rained out and got too dark. I guess it's only right I lose one that way at some point.”
Newman's 2002 victory at New Hampshire came in a race that was delayed by rain and then shortened when NASCAR ran out of daylight. So he's even now - if Sunday's race had gone one minute longer, Newman would have celebrated in Victory Lane.
Newman used to be a regular there, with 12 wins in four seasons. But the two-time championship contender hit hard times and hasn't won a race since 2005.