RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Phoenix International Raceway along with special guest Paul Knowles, a Vietnam Veteran and discussed his special Veterans Day paint scheme, the Chase format, getting on the same page with crew chief Matt Borland and much more.
YOU HAVE A UNIQUE VETERANS DAY PROMOTION WITH YOUR SPONSOR TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT: RYAN NEWMAN:“We’ve got an awesome paint scheme with our Quicken Loans Chevrolet.
A great tribute to the Veterans on Veterans Day weekend, very much appreciative of what Quicken Loans does for the Veterans with their mortgages and obviously just tributes like this on special occasions.
The TV panel on the bumper cover of the car says it best. Home of the free because of the brave, that is why we are proud to represent Quicken Loans this weekend.”
IF YOU CAN TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR SERVICE AND THEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE ON RYAN’S CAR THIS WEEKEND: PAUL KNOWLES: “Well first off the opportunity to be on Ryan’s car is really nice to have.
The car with Quicken Loans and backing up all the Veterans that is really a plus. Making a loan with Quicken Loans for that new house I just bought was just painless it was wonderful.
They have done a really great job on working with the Veterans. I spent a year in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. I was lucky when I made it back. So now I am just a Vietnam Veteran got out of the service and enjoyed the tour.”
YOU HAVE A SPECIAL PAINT SCHEME THIS WEEK ARE YOU INVOLVED IN PUTTING SOME IDEAS INTO THE PAINT SCHEME OF THE CAR? RYAN NEWMAN: “No, that is one of the things at Stewart-Haas I’ve always been extremely proud of is they put together great paint schemes for great reasons.
Quicken Loans has been a big part of this like I said. With the people at Stewart-Haas obviously have to do the final layout of the car and make sure everybody is happy sponsor wise and everybody is happy as far as their logo placement.
Just really happy with the way the car looks it’s an amazing looking car. Hopefully, it adds maybe a half second a lap to it something like that so we can have it in Victory Lane and we can show everybody really what Veterans Day is all about.”
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN DO IN THESE LAST TWO RACES TO HELP PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR SINCE YOU ARE NOT IN THE CHASE? RYAN NEWMAN: “Win. Just win. Just win everything, win the poles and win the races. That is one of our goals these last two races is to get a pole just like every other race before that, but we are not in the Shootout as of right now.
It’s an important part of my career to keep that streak alive. Obviously, it’s a goal no matter what to be the fastest and be the best. That starts today. We will see how we can do. We had a good car in the spring; I got crashed out about the middle of the race. Look forward to this race track; it’s always been a good track for me both on Friday’s and on Sunday’s.”
LAST WEEK TONY (STEWART) MADE THE REFERENCE TO (BRAD) KESELOWSKI HAVING A DEATH WISH I WONDER IF YOU COULD EXPAND ON WHAT YOU THINK THAT MEANS AND ALSO IT COMES UP EVERY YEAR WHAT IF THERE WASN’T A CHASE HOW WOULD THINGS BE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS DO YOU LIKE THE CHASE OR NOT? RYAN NEWMAN: “I’m not sure about the death wish.
I really can’t comment about that. I don’t know what he was talking about. If it was something he said or did or whatever. That is not my place to say. The Chase part of it I think a percentage of it adds hype.
As I said from the very beginning in the beginning it was 10 drivers that got the extra hype and the rest of them didn’t. Now it’s 12 that get the extra hype and having missed it two of the last four, made it two of the last four, I can kind of speak on both sides of it.
It does change your outlook and your outcome for the next 10 races after Richmond as far as what you have to look forward to. If you have an opportunity, if you don’t have an opportunity at a championship, but ultimately we are there to win each and every race so that part of it doesn’t change.
Sometimes it’s bitter sweet because of the situation you are in, but it is what it is. There is still an opportunity for a champion each and every year.
In the end if you look at it from a point’s stand point it really doesn’t change who has that opportunity whether we have a Chase or not. It’s still a group of four or five drivers at the end of 26 that are still in that group of four or five going into the last few.”
WERE YOU A LONG TIME NASCAR FAN ALL THESE YEARS OR WAS THIS A SURPRISE WEEKEND COMING TO YOU? PAUL KNOWLES: “Truthfully hate to say it I haven’t been a NASCAR fan, but this adds some credibility for me to see what it’s all about first hand. It’s a very good thing for me.”
YOU GET A LOT OF GUESTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR THAT YOU MEET AND GREET AND SPEND THE WEEKEND WITH. WHAT IS IT LIKE WHEN YOU GET A GENTLEMAN LIKE MR. KNOWLES WHO WASN’T REALLY A NASCAR FAN? IS THAT EQUALLY AS CHALLENGING, BUT YET AS FULFILLING AS ANY OTHER TYPE OF FAN? RYAN NEWMAN: “Well just as I always said having the U.S. Army as a sponsor it’s a different kind of sponsorship when you meet people like that who represent your brand I guess you could say.
Meeting Paul (Knowles) it’s extra special this weekend because it’s Veterans Day and everybody needs to recognize that.
That is the point of it is to give thanks to all those who have served and given us the opportunity to do the things that we do and not have to worry about what kind of plane if flying over our head.
Just really proud like I said of Quicken Loans, this is their program, this is their race and obviously it ties in with the U.S. Army which is another sponsor. I’m thankful and it’s an honor for me to drive a race car that pays so much tribute to so many special people.”
IS THIS ONE OF THOSE SEASONS THAT YOU WISH WOULD END OR ARE GLAD IT’S CLOSE TO AN END? “People have asked me, friends, family, whoever if I’m looking forward to the off season and I answer yes and no.
Yes I am because my ultimate goal of winning the championship is not within grasp by any means. I still have the opportunity to win two races so there are things to look forward to, but my ultimate goal I cannot achieve this year.
At that point, you want it to end and get started on next year. I really enjoy the off season; I enjoy the 90-plus days or whatever it is of being able to spend time with family and the outdoors and hunting and a little bit of fishing.
Just getting a chance to vacation at home. That’s what it’s all about. It’s a ‘catch 22.”
DO YOU THINK JIMMIE JOHNSON WILL PULL AWAY FROM BRAD KESELOWSKI OR DO YOU THINK THIS WILL GO DOWN TO THE LAST LAP AT HOMESTEAD? RYAN NEWMAN: “There’s a good chance of anything. There was as good of a chance of Brad (Keselowski) winning that race last week as there was Jimmie (Johnson) in my opinion.
I believe, if I remember right, Brad was on two tires and Jimmie was on four. There was strength there to that 2 car that was pretty dominant all race long. Anything can happen here.
I especially say with the dog-leg in the backstretch that things can get exciting here that we don’t anticipate. I think that’s kind of escalated over the last two races here so we’ll see how that goes.
This is a fun race track for me. It’s fun for a lot of guys. It’s challenging because it’s different on both ends.
Homestead itself is relatively simple when it comes to the racing part of it because it’s so wide and you can use the top to the bottom of the race track, both ends and we saw how well Tony Stewart was last year with being able to pass cars.
To me, this is more of a challenge from a racing standpoint in these next two races than Homestead is.”
WILL IT TAKE A LONG TIME FOR YOU TO GET BACK ON THE SAME PAGE WITH MATT BORLAND SINCE IT HAS BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOU BOTH WORKED TOGETHER? RYAN NEWMAN: “I don’t think we ever had to worry about getting back on the same page, it was more a matter about catching the right paragraph.
We think so much alike, we understand the principles of the race car, but for him I think it’s more about just adapting the physics of the race car to my feels and the comments that I make, having not had my experience with that over the past five or seven years or whatever it’s been.
We’ve always been on the same page when it comes to understanding the race cars. It’s just a matter of us creating that fine tuning of what we need to do to make them perfect.”
HOW DOES THE RESPECT FOR THE TITLE CONTENDERS CHANGE WITH TWO RACES REMAINING? IS THERE MORE RESPECT THAT HAS TO BE GIVEN OR IS IT A MISCONCEPTION? RYAN NEWMAN: “I guess the best way to describe it is to race them equally.
Like you said, there are two guys that are in the contention right now for the championships so if you’re in a position where you race the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) a certain way, race the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) the same way.
They know me and they know my passion for not letting them go by. That’s just the way I am. Sometimes it helps me and sometimes it hurts me. For the most part, race each other the way you would want to be raced.
If it was you racing for a championship, give and take the way you would want to be given and taken to. That’s maybe the best way to describe it. To me, there’s not more of an allowance.
There’s a level of respect in a situation. If I’m racing for a lucky dog then it’s different than if I’m racing for the win. That really doesn’t change much, maybe a little bit.
To answer your question, maybe a little bit, but not really.
I’m still here to win the race and my sponsors and my fans and everybody around me and my team especially expects me to not lay over and give them extra respect because of their situation.
My situation is that I’m still here to win a race.”
DID YOU SEE THE RESTARTS AT THE END OF THE TEXAS RACE AND IF YOU DID, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? RYAN NEWMAN: “I quickly saw I think it was the last restart when Jimmie (Johnson) kind of pulled the air off the 2 (Brad Keselowksi) a little bit, which is fine, that’s racing.
If I remember right, Brad had the opportunity to pick the lane and he chose the inside. He very easily could have picked the outside. I don’t think there was anything wrong with any of it from what I saw. I didn’t see all of it.”