Ryan Newman returns to Michigan International Speedway as one of NASCAR's "hottest stars". BROOKLYN, Mich. - Ryan Newman is one of the hottest young stars in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and is looking forward to another memorable weekend at ...
Ryan Newman returns to Michigan International Speedway as one of NASCAR's "hottest stars".
BROOKLYN, Mich. - Ryan Newman is one of the hottest young stars in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and is looking forward to another memorable weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
The South Bend, Indiana native returns to MIS this weekend for the Pepsi 400 Presented by Farmer Jack and is considered a heavy favorite to win on Sunday. Newman considers MIS his home track and the speedway is special to the 24-year old for a variety of reasons.
"Michigan holds a lot of memories for the ALLTEL Team," he said. "We ran our first race together here, I have a lot of fans in this area, my crew chief grew up here, ALLTEL got their first NASCAR victory here, we won our first Busch race at MIS, and Penske is based here. All these are all just extras, because the win itself would be awesome enough."
Newman made his stock car debut at MIS in 2000 and has competed in one ARCA race (seventh place finish), captured a Busch Series win in only one start and finished fifth and third in two previous Winston Cup starts. His secret to success at MIS may stem from his experience in different series', but as far as Newman's concerned it's business as usual.
"I don't think I have an advantage by running all of those different series, but they gave me valuable seat time," Newman explained. "I just really like Michigan. It's a great place to pass and we've just seem to hit on the set up there."
Newman has posted 10 top-fives this season, more than any other driver in 2002, has accumulated more points in the last five races (815) than any other driver and is ninth in points heading to MIS this weekend.
"We've tried to correct some of the mistakes we made earlier in the year, whether they were mechanical or people errors," said Newman. "Consistency has always been our goal and I think the string of top-five finishes is re-enforcing that. We've always said we were capable of finishing in the top-ten. I think the biggest thing we haven't done yet is win."
Newman also has his eye on the Rookie-of-the-Year Title. He currently leads Jimmie Johnson by 3 points in the standings and would like to add his name to the impressive list of past rookie championship winners.
"Rookie-of-the-Year honors are important to me," Newman said. "We're focusing on finishing well in each race and we feel if we do that then the points will come."
The Winston Cup victory that has eluded Newman so far this season may come this weekend at MIS. With a history of successful finishes at the track, the odds are in his favor to score his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory.
"Michigan is one of those places I look forward to racing at," he said. "I try to challenge myself all of the time, the harder the better. Every race is different and competitors challenge each other. The added bonus is that I like MIS."
Reserved seats still remain for the Cabela's 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on August 17. For more information and to order tickets please call the Michigan International Speedway Ticket Office (1-800-354-1010 or 517-592-6672) or go on-line at www.MISpeedway.com. General Admission (infield) tickets for Sunday's race go on sale Sunday morning at 6 a.m. at the tunnel entrance and at 8 a.m. at other Speedway ticket offices.