Darlington: Rookie contender race quotes

Raybestos® Rookie Contender post-race quotes for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 DASCAR Winston Cup sSries race at Darlington Raceway, March 17, 2002. Ryan Newman finished fifth at Darlington, capturing Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors. He...

Raybestos® Rookie Contender post-race quotes for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 DASCAR Winston Cup sSries race at Darlington Raceway, March 17, 2002.

Ryan Newman finished fifth at Darlington, capturing Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors. He has been highest finishing rookie in four of the five Winston Cup races this season. This is Newman's second top-five and fourth top-10 finish. He started from the rear of the field after an accident in practice Saturday forced him to use a backup car for the race. Newman is second in Winston Cup points, 99 behind leader Sterling Marlin. He leads the Raybestos® Rookie standings by one point (71-70) over Jimmie Johnson.

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD:

"We had a great qualifying run Friday but we cut a left rear tire down in practice and it got loose and got up in the wall. I had to go to the backup car for the race. It says a lot about the team to bring a brand new race car right off the truck with no time on the racetrack at all. The first lap this car turned today was the first lap of the race. The pit stops were awesome; just a great day for us in the Alltel Ford. There are a lot of good things we can bring out of this.

"We had a heck of a time holding off Jimmie (Johnson, fellow Raybestos® Rookie) off at the end. It's a great run for the Alltel Ford. To come from the back with a backup car and finish in the top-five just says a lot about the team and the preparation we have. It was an awesome day for us, to come here and not hit the wall once. It was a big change from yesterday I guess. The guys did an awesome job in the pits; the pit stops were great. We got the breaks there for us with getting the lap back when we got a lap down in the pits. There were pros and cons about the whole day but overall it ended up pretty good."

DID YOU RACE ANYBODY OR DID YOU JUST RACE THE TRACK?

I raced the racetrack and then I raced the mirror most of the time. I was just trying hold Jimmie off there at the end of the race."

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet, Finished Sixth. Johnson is fifth in Winston Cup Points, 158 behind point leader Marlin and 10 behind fourth place Rusty Wallace.

"It's the highlight of my career to come to Darlington and be this competitive. Rookies aren't supposed to run well here and I hope we made DW look bad. There's a bunch of us up there. It was a great battle. Late in the race I wanted to get by Ryan for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle. I had him three or four times but the way this track is and where the line is just because I had position on him doesn't mean that I was going to get the pass done. I wasn't going to go two wide into turn one. I've been wrecked there twice in my Busch career late in the race and I wasn't going to do that to us. I thought we could have beat him but I used my stuff up on the bottom trying to get by him. I'm very happy with my sixth place finish.

HOW HARD IS IT TO GO FROM RACING THE TRACK TO RACING ANOTHER CAR LATE IN THE RACE FOR POSITION?

"It sucks you in there. The beginning of the run you've got to drive it pretty hard but then at the end you've got to remember that you are at Darlington and the tires are going to give up. Sure enough, as soon as you calm down a little bit, you start going faster."

Shawna Robinson, No. 49 Bam Racing Dodge, Finished 42ND.

"We had the rear brakes lock up. Before the green even fell, there was something wrong with it. We came in and worked on that and then we went back out and the brakes never did clear. I don't know what was wrong with it; they were dragging. And then we had an ignition problem and I just flipped the switches a few times and never caught it back so I just brought it in."

-rb-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Shawna Robinson , Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson