Charlotte: Ryan Newman preview

Newman, Army Team Aiming for Special Performance on Special Weekend CONCORD, N.C. (May 19, 2009) -- Ryan Newman said that Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race adds an extra set of emotions this season as he will drive the U.S. Army entry in...

Newman, Army Team Aiming for Special Performance on Special Weekend

CONCORD, N.C. (May 19, 2009) -- Ryan Newman said that Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race adds an extra set of emotions this season as he will drive the U.S. Army entry in the Memorial Day weekend classic at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS).

"It's always a special honor to drive the U.S. Army Chevrolet, but there will be even more pride this weekend as we all pay tribute to the fallen men and women of the military who have paid the ultimate price so we can enjoy our freedom," said Newman. "It's been a privilege to wear the Army uniform and represent our Soldiers both home and abroad as they continue the fight for freedom."

Putting the Soldiers' car in Victory Lane on the weekend of military remembrance would be a definitive statement by the No. 39 U.S. Army/Haas Automation team, which has put itself in position to win at the past five races, including last weekend's Sprint All-Star Race at LMS near Charlotte.

"We haven't quite reached Victory Lane yet, but we can sure feel it and taste it," said Newman of his new Stewart-Haas Racing team. "It's been exciting to be a contender week in and week out. The more you contend the odds get better to see the checkered flag first."

Though Newman, a 13-time Cup winner, has yet to claim victory at LMS, he has enjoyed many strong performances at the 1.5-mile oval. In 16 career starts, the 31-year-old driver has posted three top fives, five top 10s and seven poles and two outside poles. His first of 43 career poles came at the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.

Newman is looking for the 50th-anniversary magic to repeat itself. He won the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008 and would like to add this weekend's 50th running of the Coke 600 to his list of tour victories.

"This is a big race -- I feel the Coke 600 ranks in the top three behind Daytona (500) and Indy (Brickyard 400)," noted Newman about NASCAR's longest race (400 laps, 600 miles). "Charlotte is a very historic race track hand a place we all try to shine at. There are a lot of great drivers who have won there. Joining that list is what we all search for."

Speaking of wins, Newman was one of the first to greet his teammate and team owner, Tony Stewart, in Victory Lane following Stewart's dramatic win in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at LMS. It was the first victory for Stewart-Haas Racing.

"They say winning becomes contagious and hopefully this is the first of many more to come for both the No. 14 and No. 39 Stewart-Haas teams," said Newman. "It was an uplifting win for the entire organization."

Newman's recent success in the Sprint Cup point races includes three straight top fives -- third (Talladega), fourth (Richmond) and fourth (Darlington). He has the best finishing average (3.67) in the last three point races. The performances have vaulted him into eighth place in the driver point standings.

In order to make the Chase and to be a championship contender the team needs to master tracks like Lowe's Motor Speedway according to Newman.

"The cookie-cutter tracks are the ones that make up the majority of the schedule and we need to have strong performances at them in order to be a contending team," noted Newman.

-credit: shr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Ryan Newman
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing