Ryan Newman in the no. 12 Alltel Ford was The RaybestosÂ® Rookie Of The Race at Kansas. Newman finished second, his fifth second place finish of the 2002 season and second consecutive at Kansas Speedway. Newman scored his 14TH top-five finish of...
Ryan Newman in the no. 12 Alltel Ford was The Raybestos® Rookie Of The Race at Kansas. Newman finished second, his fifth second place finish of the 2002 season and second consecutive at Kansas Speedway. Newman scored his 14TH top-five finish of the season at Kansas.
"That was a pretty good run but we finished second. It was another good run and another top-five for the Alltel Ford. It was a good run in the top-five. I'm happy we finished second and wished we could have won. We had a car that was plenty capable of doing it as was Jeff's (Gordon) and he got the victory.
WAS THE RESTART FOLLOWING THE RED FLAG YOUR BEST CHANGE TO CATCH GORDON FOR THE WIN?
"That was going to be my best shot but with the way those Chevrolets restart it's hard to get the torque off the bottom end. We got great engine performance today out of Penske engines. Jeff knew what he was doing there on the restart to keep me from jumping him.
YOU HAD A GOOD POINTS DAY.
"That's what we're here for. We wish we could have won but we were the second best points paying car out here and I guess that's what we're here for, too."
ONCE YOU GOT TRACK POSITION AND GOT OUT OF THE DIRTY AIR YOUR CAR TOOK OFF.
"That's the way it is with these race cars at these race tracks. They build nice race tracks and great facilities but the cars aren't exactly mechanically sound or mechanically adjustable, I guess, when it comes to working with the air. It's something that I know NASCAR is working on and they will get it figured out."
WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE TO CATCH GORDON AT THE END OF THE RACE?
"Start in front of him (laughs). I mean, it was just track position. We could have held him off there at the end, I feel, but it was just one of those things. You're in the wrong spot at the right time."
WHEN YOUR CAR IS NOT HANDLING CORRECTLY, HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S AN AERO ISSUE VERSUES A CHASSIS ISSUE?
"Just the difference between when you've got the clean air and how fast you can versus what you are like in dirty air. We knew we had a great car. We could lead a lot of laps but we got tight there at the end and I think that was a big contributing factor. The air is still a big thing."
JIMMIE JOHNSON IN THE NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, FINSIHED 10TH. JOHNSON UNOFFICIALLY TOOK THE LEAD IN THE WINSTON CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS BY 11 POINTS OVER MARK MARTIN. JOHNSON SCORED HIS 18TH TOP-10 FINISH OF THE SEASON AT KANSAS.
"We felt like we had a car to run in the top two or three. We were real loose in, which made the car hard to drive on new tires and I lost some spots, some track position, but I would get it back over the long run. There were so many cautions we never really had a chance for it to come into play with out flat tire. When we had the long run we were already down a lap and couldn't take advantage of it. It was a great effort all day long and to end up where we are is pretty cool. To be able to have the trouble that we did early in the race and in the middle of the race with that flat tire and to be able to catch it when I did and not spin out and tear the car up and to get to pit road without losing a lot of speed. It worked out for us. We only lost one lap. I thought we had a shot at getting the lap back there for a while but it just didn't happen. For us to finish in the top-10 after having a flat tire is a great accomplishment for this whole team. It shows what hard teamwork can do. I've got to thank Hendrick Motorsports and Lowe's. Everybody is working hard, this team is working real hard and we'll just see what happens from here."
SINCE YOU ARE LEADING THE POINTS, SINCE YOU ARE LEADING THE POINTS, HOW HARD IS IT GOING TO BE TO KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK?
"It won't be a worry until we get to the last couple of races. There is just too much to worry about with Talladega and Martinsville."
YOU HAD A FLAT TIRE UNDER GREEN AND DIDN'T HIT ANYTHING, UNLIKE A LOT OF OTHERS HERE TODAY.
"I knew something was wrong coming off of four and when I went down into one it was pretty evident what was going on. Luckily it worked out like it did and we didn't lose so much time and we only lost one lap."
DID YOU THINK YOU MIGHT CATCH A YELLOW FLAG WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING SECOND LATE IN THE RACE?
"We were trying. Every piece of paper on the track and piece of rubber I was yelling there is debris. It just didn't work out."
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF, NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD
"It was a good day for us. We got caught out of sequence that one stop. I'm not sure how everyone fell out, but a lot of cars were falling out real early on it seemed like. Track position is just huge. We got caught on that one stop, us and Gordon, when we stayed out and it bit us there early on. Once we got back up front it was pretty good most of the day. Gordon had a great car and that was tough to beat. All in all, it's not too bad. We led a bunch of laps and finished second; not too bad."
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE TO CATCH GORDON?
"On the very last stop, there was no way we were going to come in. It would just cost us too much, track position wise. We probably should have freed it up a little bit more than we did for that last set of tires. The tires were great. Goodyear brought a great tire here and we didn't have any issues the whole day."
CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET:
SINCE YOUR TEAM TOOK THE LEAD IN THE WINSTON CUP POINTS CHASE, HOW HARD IS IT GOING TO BE TO RING THEM IN EMOTIONALLY?
"It doesn't matter to us. We're going out there and we're trying to win the races. We're not worried about leading the points. That's the story that everybody else is talking about. All we're talking about is going out and winning races."