Atlanta: Pole winner interview

Newman, Sadler Qualify on Front Row at AMS; Eight Dodges Capture Top 12 Starting Spots RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) - 38th career pole, 7th at AMS "That was a great run for the Alltel Dodge. I've got to thank Michael Nelson (crew...

Newman, Sadler Qualify on Front Row at AMS; Eight Dodges Capture Top 12 Starting Spots

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) - 38th career pole, 7th at AMS

"That was a great run for the Alltel Dodge. I've got to thank Michael Nelson (crew chief) and all the guys on the team. It's a cold night tonight, but it's a great racetrack. It's a lot of fun and Atlanta has a lot of great NASCAR fans. We appreciate being here. We had a little miss in the engine. We were surprised it was as fast as it was. On that second lap I just tried to hold it wide open. It washed up in four, and I said that was enough. I looked up and it said we were P-1, so that was a happy time.

"It's gratifying, and I couldn't think of a better person to share that record (most poles at AMS) with than Buddy Baker. He's helped me with my racing career. He's a great friend. He still comes to the racetrack and he's still a part of the team.

"It is a little bit sweeter for sure based on the struggles from last year. We did so well our rookie year and the year after things got better. From that point on it seems like things went downhill. We got more poles, but it never seemed like we had that eight-race win season that we had in 2003. You're supposed to get better every year, and as a driver I felt that I had the performance. The entire package just didn't happen and then last year hopefully was the pit of my career as far as having the struggles. I look forward to running better. This is definitely a huge step in that direction, and I'm definitely enjoying it more.

"The team looks newer than it is. One guy from the shop is on the road and vice versa. We've got a different race engineer. The crew chief is the same, just a different position. We've got a different shock guy, and that's pretty much it. I think the dominant faces you see are different versus a whole new team. The guys are doing a good job, and they are adapting to a new situation.

"I'd say for at least this weekend I can see it getting better. Our race run was really stout in practice. I pulled out and passed Kasey Kahne. He passed me back and I was catching him. He won this race last year, so that's someone to gauge off of. I feel like we have a good car, and it'd sure be nice to have a real good race here Sunday."

-credit: dodge motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Buddy Baker