Newman, No. 39 Team Looking to Improve on Short Track Success MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 20, 2009) -- Though the first-year U.S. Army/Haas Automation team achieved its priority goal of earning a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, driver...
Newman, No. 39 Team Looking to Improve on Short Track Success
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 20, 2009) -- Though the first-year U.S. Army/Haas Automation team achieved its priority goal of earning a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, driver Ryan Newman says there's still one major goal to fulfill before the checkered flag falls on the 2009 season.
"We're still looking for that elusive team win," said Newman. "We've done a very good job as a team and as an organization, but we haven't won and there is a huge desire to win that first race. Hopefully we can accomplish that goal sooner rather than later."
Judging by the team's short track success, Newman could very well drive the No. 39 U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevy Impala SS to Victory Lane following Sunday's TUMS Fast Relief 500 at the historic half-mile Martinsville Speedway.
Newman's finishing average in the five short track races contested this seasonm is 6.6, including a sixth-place result at the Martinsville spring race. His other short track finishes were seventh and sixth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and fourth and 10th at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
"No question, the short track program has been one of our strong suits," noted Newman, who has 13 career Cup wins. "I look forward to going back to Martinsville, especially with the Hendrick support. And as we do each week, we're going to do everything we can to win for our Army Strong Soldiers."
Martinsville wasn't always a pleasant experience for Newman, who has garnered five top fives, seven top 10s and two poles in 15 career starts at the southern Virginia track. His best finish was second at the 2007 fall race.
"Once I figured out what to do with the brakes at Martinsville, I enjoyed racing there," noted Newman. "Martinsville is a fun race track as long as you stay out of trouble and keep those brakes cool. You go to a place like Michigan or California and it takes less driver and more car than it does at a short track in my opinion. That is one of the things I enjoy about Martinsville."
With five races remaining, Newman is eighth in the Chase driver standings. He gained two spots following his 11th-place finish in Saturday night's Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte.
"I'm not sitting at home calculating how many points we need -- it's all about performance," said Newman. "If you have strong performances then the results and points will come. We have five races to go and a lot of things can still happen. I know it's a cliche, but it's one race at a time. And right now our focus is to get our U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevy dialed in for Sunday's race at Martinsville."