At Watkins Glen later that summer, Ryan Newman led 11 laps and finished second behind Tony Stewart. However the race ended in controversy as it was discovered that Stewart had restarted the race too early and jumped the restart. Despite a protest by Penske, NASCAR upheld Stewart's win.
Newman beat out Jimmie Johnson for the Rookie of the Year award on the strength of rookie records in top-fives (14) and top-tens (22), even though Johnson had more wins, finished higher in the points standings, and led the standings at one point.
Johncock competed in twenty-one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in his career. He earned three top-fives and four top-tens in his limited schedules. The best of those finishes were a pair of fourths in 1973 at Daytona and 1966 at Rockingham.
Newman's sophomore season began with 1 flip and 2 near flips at the 2003 Daytona 500 after contact with Ken Schrader and Bobby Labonte. At Watkins Glen, he spun and hit the foam blocks, sending him on his side. The near-flip was at the 2003 Aaron's 499 when he blew a tire mid-pack and nearly turned on his side in turn 1, sparking a 27 car crash, one of the largest recorded crash in Sprint Cup history.
Though finishing the season with a series-high eight wins and eleven poles, Newman also suffered seven DNF's, which left him sixth in points. His number of poles during the season led to him being nicknamed "Rocket Man".
On June 22, 2010 it was announced that Labonte would be leaving the #71 due to team being unable to secure sponsorship. On June 23, Labonte was hired to drive car #7 for Robby Gordon Motorsports at New Hampshire in a one race deal.
On October 11 Stavola-Labonte Racing hired Labonte to drive its #10 car at Charlotte and Texas in a two race deal. The team is co-owned by Bobby's older brother Terry. Despite bouncing around, Labonte competed in every race for the 2010 season.
In 2004, Newman qualified for the inaugural Chase for the Cup by finishing seventh in points with two wins and nine poles. He made the 2005 Chase as well, while returning to the Busch Series after a four-year absence, winning six out of the nine races he entered, including a series-record five straight.