RYAN NEWMAN IN THE NO.12 ALLTEL/MOBIL 1 FORD WAS THE HIGHEST QUALIFYING RAYBESTOSÂ® ROOKIE FOR THE BRICKYARD 400. "Congratulations to Tony Stewart and the Home Depot team. Those guys had an awesome lap for the heat that they had to run in. The...
RYAN NEWMAN IN THE NO.12 ALLTEL/MOBIL 1 FORD WAS THE HIGHEST QUALIFYING RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE FOR THE BRICKYARD 400.
"Congratulations to Tony Stewart and the Home Depot team. Those guys had an awesome lap for the heat that they had to run in. The Alltel Ford was pretty good. It got a little tight there in turn three but it was good enough for a top-five start. That's one better than last year and hopefully we can race a little better. It's good to be back home in Indiana."
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF FOR THE NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD:
"We're pretty happy with it for the heat of the day when we got the draw. It was a pretty good run. Ryan did a great job and the guys did a great job on this car. It's a really good run for us."
YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO QUALIFY IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY. DID YOU DO ANYTHING TO THE SETUP OF THE CAR TO COMPENSATE?
"No, we didn't change it at all because yesterday we ran fastest in the heat of the day. We pretty much backed up the time that we ran there so we didn't need to change a whole lot. Unfortunately, we didn't get the cool weather."
SELECTED QUOTES FROM NEWMAN PRESS CONFERENCE
HOW WAS YOUR RUN?
"It was pretty good, it was in the heat of the day so to speak but I think it was pretty hot from the time the first green flag dropped all the way through. It probably made a little -more- -2-
bit of difference but overall the run was good for the Alltel Ford. We got through one and two pretty good, I felt, but I over-cut turn three a little bit just trying to push it too hard. That cost us a little bit but to still get a top-five run out of it is not bad at all."
THIS IS A VERY DIFFICULT TRACK TO DRIVE BUT YOU HAVE NOW STARTED IN THE TOP-FIVE TWICE. HOW HAVE YOU FIGURED THIS PLACE OUT?
"Somebody once told me that with this racetrack having four corners, when your car is good, it's good for four corners and when your car is bad, it's bad for eight corners. That's what makes it so tough sometimes. As we all know we work with the car's balances. The temperatures changes and the track changes as the running goes through. The track goes through a lot of changes and the car goes through a lot of changes. You've got to keep adapting your driving style, and with the track being flat as it is with the aero push and the traffic and things like that. You can get out front and run really fast but if you get back 10th or 12th in line you've got 12 cars that's pushing air in front of you and it gets really difficult. That was one of the biggest things last year is that there is a lot of give and take here and I didn't give as much as I should have on Jimmy Spencer going into (turn) three and got a little tap in the left rear corner and that ended our day. It's just something to think about in my mind going into this race: give and take and be patient."
HOW DO PERSONNEL CHANGES WITH THE DRIVER OR TEAM AFFECT YOUR FOCUS OR THE TEAM'S FOCUS TOWARD THE END OF THE SEASON?
"I don't personally know. I've never been in that situation before but I can definitely tell you that it makes things tougher and that's something that complicates a season especially when you are going for the championship. Some people can probably deal with it better than others, obviously, but overall it's definitely something that's not going to set well in your mind when it comes to getting up Monday morning after a race and figuring out if the guys are going to be happy with you coming next weekend because you're not racing for them next year. I can just imagine how tough it would be and I can't really say outside of that."
WHAT HAS MADE YOUR TEAM SO CONSISTENT THIS YEAR?
"I think one of the biggest things is that our team has learned a lot. I think at the start of the season people were confused with the whole number switch and us being the 12 car versus what the 12 car team used to be. The team that I'm with, the 12 car now, is the team that was together for, basically, the last two and a half years. We've learned a lot and this year they are the determining factor of what has made us as good as we are. The engineering department is awesome. We've learned so much and have been able to adapt so much to the future as far as what we've learned from the past. That's important for me as a rookie to come into a rookie season and have a good idea that they know what to prepare for and what things to do with the racecar to make it better. That shows up at times like today."