RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- Finished Second, jumped three spots to 10th in series standings. Newman is one point out of ninth and five points out of eighth. "It was a good run for us. To come home with a top five is what we were asking...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- Finished Second, jumped three spots to 10th in series standings. Newman is one point out of ninth and five points out of eighth.
"It was a good run for us. To come home with a top five is what we were asking for and second place is that much better. Junior had a great car and drove a smart race. I did my best to drive a smart race. I had to avoid a couple of accidents and I got beat up a couple of times, but I'm happy to come out of here with a runner-up finish.
"Junior was pretty fast, and our car wasn't perfect. I think if it had been perfect we could have run with him, but that was the only way. I look forward to these next two races and the last 10. We've got to take 'em one step at a time. Our team has gained a lot of momentum from this run, and I can see that without even talking to them yet. This is big for us and hopefully we can take this momentum into these next two races. I feel like a little of the pressure is off, a little bit at least. We were better than we have been tonight, but we need to get better still.
"I'm glad I'm 26 (years old) because that last run there was pretty tough. Our team fought back. We got caught in the pits. Jeff kinda slid through his pits, and I was gauging my pit stop off his. I couldn't see. He backed up and blocked us in, but we fought back from that and the guys had an awesome strategy. We did all we could to get in the top five, and we came home second. It was a really good effort for the ALLTEL Dodge. It was a good points' day for us, but we can't count our chickens. They aren't going to hatch for three more weeks.
"I think it was more mentally demanding than physically demanding. Your body gives out a little bit, but your mind becomes such a repetitive process with cornering and gas and trying to manage your rear tires coming off and your front tires in the corner. It's definitely one of the most physical runs we've had all year, if not the most physical run. I'm glad I'm young and got me a good Gatorade bottle to drink.
"It's definitely a good thing (being back in the top 10). We'll just focus on the next two races. I can say one thing, I said earlier that Junior's guys are happy, but our guys are happy times two. That was a big race for us to get some momentum within the team and communication and chemistry and all the great things that it does to run good. We haven't been able to do that the past few weeks, so it was a good run for us."
"California is a big race for us. We've got a Sony paint scheme and it's a Sony race. It's one of our great sponsors, so we look forward to that part of it. It's a place we finished third in the spring, so we look forward to going back from that perspective. Coming in with a second-place finish on our shoulders should help the momentum."