Newman's Win at Kansas Caps Dodge's First Top-Three Sweep of 2003 RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Eighth Victory of 2003 NOTE: With six races remaining, Newman trails Matt Kenseth by 364 points. Newman has gained 224 points on ...
Newman's Win at Kansas Caps Dodge's First Top-Three Sweep of 2003
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Eighth Victory of 2003
NOTE: With six races remaining, Newman trails Matt Kenseth by 364 points. Newman has gained 224 points on Kenseth in the past two races and has moved to fourth in the series standings -- his highest ranking ever. Newman is now just 39 points behind third-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 105 points behind second-place Kevin Harvick. Newman has won six of the last 13 races and has moved from 16th to fourth in the series standings during that stretch.
"Well, we were out front in the first part of the race, but we got back there caught with the guys racing side-by-side and I just couldn't go anywhere. I finally got some track position when we stayed out. Luckily the cautions worked our way. I've got to thank everyone from ALLTEL and Dodge for making this happen. Those guys did a great job."
"I don't think his tires (the No. 19) were quite as good as ours, and I got him coming off of four there. I think he was in fuel strategy mode just as well as us, and I don't think he wanted to race side-by-side for too many laps knowing there was competition behind us."
"Oh yeah, we let it hang out at the end. Bill was fast and our car got pushing there pretty good at the end, but we were able to hang on. There were worries (about fuel), for sure."
"It was eventful, by all means. We had a really good car to start. We got out of our cycle, kind of off sequence. We kind of hurt ourselves there. We just kind of got back in the pack. We got basically on the tail end of the lead lap and then we went off a different strategy based off of that. Fortunately, it worked out for us. The car was good at the end, and that's when we needed it to be good - out in clean air."
"We go out and we do the best job we can with what we've got to work with. When there's an opportunity to try and stretch it to the end, we're going to try to stretch it to the end. We're as much points racing as we are racing for the win, so we've got to be considerate of both. Luckily we were able to make it. It was as much luck as it was skill in some instances because we had the yellow flag."
"We just beat them. I can tell you for a sure thing, we're not cheating and we don't cheat. That's basically it. They can think what they want, and they can say what they want. Everybody on this team does an awesome job, and the engine company does an awesome job."
"It's kind of like football. In order to be a good team you've got to have a good offense and a good defense. When you're trying to figure out how to beat everybody else, sometimes it's defense and sometimes it's offense. The defensive part, you're trying to cover all of your bases, and I guess in football terms you've got to prepare for the fake punt."
"I don't want to put anybody down, but we had really bad pit stops all day. Usually you can win some races on pit stops. We were just in an off-sequence strategy from what the leaders were to get be able to get back and get position on the racetrack."
"We go out and do the best job we can each week with what we have to work with. That goes for qualifying, race practice and the race itself. Sometimes the points are coming to you. Sometimes you're in the points, and sometimes you take the points away from yourself. We just try to maximize the good and minimize the bad."
"The fastest lap, it was the first time we had been out front basically on a restart all day to have cool tires. We had a fast racecar, no doubt. It put down the fastest lap on used tires late in the race. I think the track was in good shape. I think the track was awesome all day as far as racing. By far, it was the most two-wide racing and sometimes three-wide racing we've ever seen here."
On other driver's speculation about his fuel mileage...
"I'm not tired of it, but it's hard when you're criticized for doing good. It's hard to have a smart answer for a dumb question - I've said that before. When you get told comments by other drivers and things like that it's hard to put some of that stuff behind you. It's hard to be un-witty about it. That's it, basically. I just tell it like it is."
On luck in this series...
"Some of it is your car, and some of it is just bad racing or being in the wrong spot at the wrong times. That's basically it. There's no equation for it."
MATT BORLAND (Crew Chief, No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) -
"Mike Nelson does such a great job as far as doing fuel mileage. Really, the guys at the engine shop... I mean, a lot of the teams make really good horsepower, and a lot of teams get really good fuel mileage. Our engine shop has put a really concerted effort in this year to make horsepower, make fuel mileage and get the right ability. Scott Ferry and those guys have done a tremendous job. John Payne, the tuner, does a great job. Ryan has really come on now. You just play those things out when the opportunities present themselves. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. We've had a couple of instances this year when we've run out of gas. You take the gambles when they presents itself and make sense, and you don't do it when it doesn't make sense."
"When the questions come out on how short on fuel we are, we are short at the time. But then several cautions come out and you start adding those caution laps up and you're less short than you were initially. You're still not sure, though, exactly how much fuel you've saved under yellow and how much during trying to get around cars. During the race, you're taking your best guess and trying to make it as educated of a guess as you can."