Daytona 500: Newman - Media Day visit

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY IMPALA, met with members of the media at Daytona Media Day and discussed expectations for the season, the success of Stewart-Haas Racing, new NASCAR rules and other topics. LAST SEASON YOU STARTED OFF DECENT AND...

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY IMPALA, met with members of the media at Daytona Media Day and discussed expectations for the season, the success of Stewart-Haas Racing, new NASCAR rules and other topics.

LAST SEASON YOU STARTED OFF DECENT AND DIDN'T FINISH-OFF LIKE YOU WANTED TO WITH IT BEING A NEW SEASON AND NEW YEAR HOW DOES IT FEEL COMING INTO DAYTONA? "We learned last year what we are capable of when we were performing to our ability with a lot of top-fives in a row and that's tough to do in this sport so I look forward to 2010 because of the things we experienced in 2009 and created as a team and as an organization. Obviously we have notes to fall back on where we had no notes before, it's gonna be nice and a little bit of an insurance call coming to the racetrack. We had a lot of times last year where we got rained out in practice or qualifying and we didn't know. This year I think we'll have a lot better information to work from and teammates and willingness to work together all together."

Seems like the chemistry of that team worked well right off the start? "We started right off here at Daytona and the biggest problem was we had bad luck, we started in a big hole. We had some pit stop problems in California and Vegas and I think we were 31st or 32nd in points for the first three races and to come back and make the chase. We overcame adversity, nobody wants to do that but we did."

from a driver's perspective has anything changed since the Media Tour having not been on the track yet, has anything changed, do you have anything to report? "It's all pretty much the same, a little more at ease talking in front of y'all that makes it probably easier for me either way I probably got more media in the past year and a half than I did in quite a while."

HOW DO YOU INTERPRET NASCAR'S DECISION TO MIX IT UP A LITTLE MORE, BE MORE AGGRESSIVE AND SHOW MORE EMOTION? "It's kind of a catch22 because for a long time we couldn't have a confrontation in the garage area at the risk of being suspended or being on probation -- or both. The second part of it is we are going back to the rules like we had before Talladega. So it all depends on how you interpret what they say and what the rules are actually going to be."

I HAD A CALL THE OTHER DAY ABOUT THE ROLLBAR IN YOUR CRASH, WHEN IT CAME DOWN ON YOU. DID NASCAR EVER CHANGE ANYTHING OR MAKE A RULING ON THAT? "I don't know if anything ever came of it, it was talked about and there was some ideas but I don't know if there was ever any rules put in place or not. NASCAR has to make the rule wither its wall thickness of the tubing or concentrating on making it stronger or type of welding device to use to fuse metal together. Those are the things that NASCAR has to stipulate. We always try to make the cars perform as best as they can and obviously we have a concentration to safety but honestly I don't know if anything was changed. The rules aren't defined as they need to be from a safety standpoint. That's just the evolution. They have the safer barriers, race cars, tires, wheels, all types of things in the 70 or 100 years of doing it."

IS THE DAYTONA 500 GOING TO LOOK A LOT DIFFERENT TO US THIS YEAR WITH THE CHANGE IN THE RESTRICOTOR PLATE SIZE? "I don't know that we can even determine the actually size of the restrictor plate until we get out there in the pack and draft. I don't know what they did as far as the test when they determined the restrictor plate we are going to use and rules packages we are going to have but we've seen here several times that the restrictor plate size changes -- daily as we go through Speed Weeks. It's kind of wait to be seen but I don't know that we are going to see a different race. I think this racetrack has always been great in the essence that you have to handle here that makes it fun in a driver's standpoint because you're not just wide open following a guy in front of you and waiting for someone push you from behind. You can actually work on your racecar and make it handle and make it drive."

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEND A MESASGE TO THE MEN AND WOMEN SERVING IN THE MILITARY AND OUR MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE IN THE MILITARY HOSPITALS RECOOPRATING FROM COMPATE WOUNDS? "Absolutely, thank everybody for what they do in all branches of the military to give us an opportunity to do what we love each and every day for generations to come. We appreciate very much the outgiving and selflessness that those people give us that and give us the opportunity to do what we love.

WHO ARE YOU PULLING FOR THE SUPERBOWL? "I don't know, we'll have to see. I just like watching a good game. I'm from Indiana, I don't really care who wins I just like watching a good game."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RULE ABOUT BUMP DRAFTING? "I think that it's good that we can bump draft, we shouldn't be told what we can't do with our racecars. I think that the yellow line rule is also good for the sport and the drivers and the safety of what we do and especially for the fans but having the ability to wreck each other per say is a good thing. The more we are policed the less we can race I think."

IS THE SHOOTOUT A MORE IMPORTANT RACE NOW THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ANY PRESEASON TESTING? "Absolutely, every minute you have to be on the racetrack is important from a testing and teamwork standpoint. It's important for us especially the ones that are fortunate enough to be in the Bud Shootout to get a head start before the Gatorade 150s and before the 500 itself."

HOW ARE YOU FEELING AFTER LAST YEAR? "I'm alright, I'm about 98 percent."

NO AFTER AFFECTS? "A little bit but not too bad."

-source: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing