Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) YOU VISITED THE MILL LAKE YOUTH CAMP. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN SOMETHING LIKE THIS? "Well first of all, the camp was neat to visit. We visited in June of this year. And it's very historic,...
Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger)
YOU VISITED THE MILL LAKE YOUTH CAMP. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN SOMETHING LIKE THIS? "Well first of all, the camp was neat to visit. We visited in June of this year. And it's very historic, it's neat. I like old things, I like rustic things. It's beyond a little bit rustic right now, but we're trying to resurrect it a little bit. I just really enjoy the outdoors. My fishing experiences started in Michigan with my Grandfather. When I was too young to remember I started fishing with them. We used to go out and troll around the lake and catch bass and cook them and eat them. That happened in the morning and that happened in the afternoon in between there I fished as well. I just really enjoy the outdoors. I enjoy fishing. It's a beautiful place (the Mill Lake Youth Camp) the pictures just show a little bit of it. The camp itself is neat, the way it's laid out. It's right outside of another park. It's a beautiful place. I appreciate Roger and all his support. It's close to home for me being from South Bend, Ind. And our relationship with the conservation has grown in the past year and half."
TALK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU IN THE HECTIC NASCAR LIFESTYLE TO BE ABLE TO GET OUT AND GO FISHING EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE: "Well we talked about how hectic the Cup schedule is and for me it's just kind of a way to neutralize, a way to re-zero and recalibrate. We have a fellow that works for us, he used to be on the team. We call it the deer observation tower that we built. It's just to go up and watch the deer and sometimes I'll take a picture of it. I'll send a text to him on my Alltel phone and it says, getting calibrated. And that's what we really do, that's what I feel. To be able to get back to peace, after a good weekend or a bad weekend it could be either way. Just to enjoy the outdoors.
"I still have my grandfather's boat, some of my grandfather's fishing poles, my grandfather's motor. And it's in my little pond in North Carolina. I still feel a way to be connected to him through fishing, through the outdoors and sitting on a boat. There are two different scenarios, you either go fishing or you catch fish. The third thing is just to sit there on the boat and you can float around and enjoy the outdoors. That's where it is for me, just to rebalance and re-zero."
Ray Evernham (team owner and CEO of Gillett Evernham Motorsports)
In addition to qualifying Kahne and Sadler third and fifth respectively, Gillett Evernham Motorsports also provided the engine that enabled Bobby Labonte to qualify fourth.
YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENED SO FAR THIS WEEKEND
"Yes, little steps though. That's still no indicator that we have things fixed, it's just an indicator that we're going in the right direction. We have a good engine program but we still have to get better at it. Sunday we've got to make sure that we run competitively. We're back to how we used to be, the Dodges would qualify good and not race good. Then we got them qualifying good and we got them racing well. So now we're working hard on the racing part."
Beth Ann Morgenthau (team owner of No. 49 Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge Charger, driven by John Andretti)
WHAT PROMPTED the decision to make a driver change and go with John Andretti? "We needed a driver change. We needed a positive driver. That's why we did that change over."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE SOLIDLY IN THE FIELD? "It feels really good. It's good to see all those Dodges up there too."
IT'S BEEN DIFFICULT FOR THE SMALLER TEAMS THIS YEAR. HOW DO YOU KEEP GOING, WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT AND TRY AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD AT THE SAME TIME? "Well, I'm not going to let my team down. I want to make sure the team feels like they have a job. I want them in it. It takes money to be here, but it also takes a lot on the driver's part to get us in."
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED JOINING UP WHERE THERE IS A LOT OF PARTNERSHIPS AND SUCH? "No. No one has entertained that thought to me. Yes, I would be entertained by it. It would be fine.
HAVE YOU LOOKED AT MERGING YOUR OPERATION? "No, that has not come across yet. I'm pretty self-sufficient right now."
WHAT ARE THE HOPES FOR TOMORROW WITH THIS TEAM? "I'd like to stay up there around 15th or 20th positions or in the low 20's. A top-20 finish would be really good. That would be great. I would like a win."
WHERE ARE YOU GETTING YOUR ENGINES FROM? "Evernham, but we are doing all of our own chassis and bodies."
John Andretti (No. 49 Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge Charger)
WHAT MAKES COMING TO THE NO. 49 TEAM A GOOD MOVE FOR YOU? "There are people here that I know. Being part of the Dodge camp and the similarities between the Petty organization. I saw that as being a real bonus. I visited the shop so I know their capabilities. It's just a lot of things. I just got to meet Beth Ann (Morgenthau, team owner) yesterday and they're really nice people. It's fun to be around. There's a lot of enthusiasm. I see a lot of good things here.
"But with my relationship with the Petty's, I can walk down a couple of haulers and talk to the 45 guys and get a little bit of help. Evernham (engines) is involved and we have an Evernham engineer. It's a lot more than the little engine that could. I think from that perspective we can do a lot of good things for each other."
BETH ANN (MORGENTHAU, TEAM OWNER) TOLD US THAT SHE WANTED A DRIVER THAT WAS CONFIDENT AND ENCOURAGING TO THE TEAM. IS THAT A COMPLIMENT TO YOU? "I've always worked well with anybody. I've been in some tough situations. The team are the ones who can make you go faster. We're all on the same team and team means more than people think. If we run good it's all of us, if we run bad it's all of us. That's how I look at it. I think I've gotten along good wherever I've been because of that."
EVERYONE WOULD LIKE A TOP RIDE BUT IS THERE A SATISFACTION THAT COMES FROM GETTING BETTER WITH A SMALLER TEAM RATHER THAN JUST STEPPING INTO TOP EQUIPMENT "A lot of it has to do with the pony you ride. When Tiger Woods goes and plays golf it would be really hard to convince me that you can't go out and buy the same clubs he uses. In racing it's not like that. We all have different sets of clubs and the people who are working on them everyday are trying to make your job easier. So they make it easier to get those birdies. From that perspective there is a lot of satisfaction when we go out and qualify 16th. I mean before practice we hadn't turned a wheel together as a team. We had an hour and half worth of practice and worked our way through some issues. We made a bunch of changes for qualifying and it worked. We have good reason to be proud of what we have accomplished. It's real easy to run bad in Cup and it's really hard to run well."
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO GET OUT OF SUNDAY "I think if we could finish in the top 20 that would be awesome. Obviously you want more but realistically you have to look at it and say okay. Today running in the top-15 was like running in the top-five, six years ago. So that's how close the competition has gotten. It would be big if we could run on the lead lap that would be big. It's easy to get lapped here. We just need to get to the finish on the lead lap. That would be something to build form now."
-credit: dodge motorsports