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Newman didn’t know if primary sponsors Quicken Loans and Outback Steakhouse will follow him to a new ride or stay with SHR.

Some of Newman’s toughest tracks are ahead as he makes his Chase push. He has one win at Pocono, is winless at Watkins Glen, has two wins at Michigan, hasn’t won at Bristol or Atlanta and has one win at Martinsville.

“When you win once, you should be able to keep winning if you have the tools to do it,” Newman said. “It’s a challenge this weekend because I have never won at Indy. Indy and Pocono are so close (in setup). I see it as a challenge.”

Newman could be helped if Stewart were to pass winless Jeff Gordon for 10th and then claim a wild-card spot that way. Yes one win helps, but Newman, Truex and Stewart all know it might not be enough to make the Chase.

“We definitely got some places where we could run well,” Truex said. “Bristol has been good for us so I think we just need to get through this one. I feel like we can get another win before the Chase starts and we’re going to work hard to try to make that happen.”

Stewart, who walked away unhurt from a sprint car accident this week, said his No. 14 is a championship contender with more room to grow. The three-time Cup champion is always one of the cars to beat if he cracks the Chase field.

“If we get our cars working like we want them to, the points will take care of itself,” Stewart said. “I don’t think we are looking at it in any type of panic situation. We are still just trying to figure out how to make our cars better.”

With two top 10s in the last three races, Newman and crew chief Matt Borland hope they’ve figured out the No. 39.

Plus, history could be on Newman’s side. Stewart made the decision to fire crew chief Darian Grubb during the 2011 season _ then went out and won the championship. Maybe another pink slip can spark Newman into contention.

“You’re still going to have the negative in there,” Newman said, “It’s how you overcome those things that make you a winner.”