DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- NASCAR star Ryan Newman took the opener of the 2004 International Race of Champions series in controversial fashion Friday.
Newman clearly went below the yellow line at the bottom of the Daytona Speedway track to pass Kurt Busch in the final few hundred yards before the finish line, which is not allowed at Daytona in either the IROC or NASCAR series.
But series officials allowed the pass to stand unpenalized after deciding that Busch's block of Newman forced him below the line.
"I got a good run on Kurt and he tried to pinch me down, but I was at the point of no return as far as letting off," Newman said. "Based on the way things played out, I kinda figured (I would get the call), but you never know."
It was Newman's first victory in the IROC series.