Ryan Newman Wins at New Hampshire; Teammate and Team Owner Tony Stewart Finished Second Chevrolet Extends Lead in Manufacturers' Cup Standings
Ryan Newman was truly "Rocketman" behind the wheel of his No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He started on the pole, led a race-high 119 out of 301 laps and was in front of his Stewart-Haas Racing team owner and teammate Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet as the closing laps of the race clicked off.
But, it wasn't as easy as it sounds as crew chief Tony Gibson told him they were very close on fuel and to save as much as he could and hope there was no green-white-checkered finish in their future.
Everything went his way as he took the checkered flag for his first win of the 2011 season, the 15th victory of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) career and his third victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The victory moved him to eighth in the standings and marked the first time Stewart-Haas Racing has started and finished 1-2 in a NSCS event.
Newman's victory extended Chevrolet's lead in the NSCS Manufacturers' Cup standings to 17 points with eight victories to-date this season.
Stewart also started where he finished. The two-time NSCS champion led twice for a total of 48 laps. He remains 11th in the standings with 19 races in the books and seven races remaining until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Five-time defending NSCS Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, rallied from a pit-road penalty and a late-race spin to finish fifth. He jumped three positions in the points to second, just seven points out of the top-spot.
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, led once for 19 laps but had to battle back to an 11th place finish after the crew made a battery change on pit road. On the final lap of the 301-lap/318.46-mile race he suffered a blown tire while running in fourth but managed to salvage the 11th finishing position. The four-time Series' champion remains seventh in the points order.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, finished 15th after battling handling issues throughout much of the race. He sits ninth in the standings.
Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Good Sam/Cheerios Chevrolet, was 17th at the finish line as he battled the handling of the car throughout the race. He remains 12th in the point standings.
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, was credited with the 21st finishing position, also battling handling issues. Harvick is fourth in the standings with three victories so far in 2011.
Denny Hamlin – 3rd (Toyota) and Joey Logano – 4th (Toyota) complete the top-five finishers.
After a weekend off from competition, the Series' begins its stretch to the end of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 on July 31, 2011.
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER:
THIS IS YOUR FIRST WIN AS A DAD. CONGRATULATIONS: “Oh, this counting yesterday in the Modifieds, yeah, first Cup win. But I’m just really proud of this U.S. Army team and Chevrolet and all the people that help out. It’s a big deal for us. Gene Haas is here. Everybody is cutting up having a good time. We had a great weekend at Stewart-Haas Racing and I’m really proud of everybody’s effort.”
THEY WERE YOU TO SAVE FUEL. HOW MUCH FUEL DID YOU SAVE? “I kind of got the hunch that they didn’t get as much (fuel) in as they’d hoped to. But I was saving quite a big, or just as much as I could. Luckily we had that lead and luckily it stayed green or it would have been a green-white-checkered position or situation and we wouldn’t have been able to make it. But I’m just really proud of the guys. Tony Gibson (crew chief) made a gutsy call and it paid off. It’s a big win for us and for our team at this point in the season and I’m just really proud of their efforts.”
BATTLING TO STAY IN THE CHASE PICTURE AND PICKING UP THE WIN, EMOTIONALLY THAT’S GOT TO BE HUGE “Oh, yeah. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. Let’s put it that way. I’m really proud of everybody.”
CONGRATULATIONS. "We did what we had to do. Just got to thank the U.S. Army, thank you guys. We've been working so hard to get this U.S. Army Chevrolet into victory lane. I want to thank Sprint, Tornados, Haas Automation, Coca-Cola, all the people at Bass Pro Shops and all the people who have jumped on this year. A real big team effort. We're proud that we came home one-two just as we started, a great weekend for Stewart-Haas Racing. Good points day. I want to dedicate this win to a good friend of mine, I lost him in April and my grandfather a couple of years ago this weekend so its sentimental for several reasons."
WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THIS TEAM NOW THAT YOU GET READY FOR THE CHASE? "It puts us in a lot better position thats for sure. Getting that win was a great bonus in itself. We'be been so close so many times this year, we've finished in the top five but just haven't been able to get that win."
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: ON THE DAY “Man, this one hell of a perfect weekend for Stewart-Haas Racing. It was a sweet one-two in qualifying and one-two in the race. I’m so damn proud I can’t see straight. I’m proud of my buddy there (Ryan Newman, race winner) standing on top of his car. He deserved it. He did an awesome job this weekend.”
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE STARTING TO RUN HIM DOWN A LITTLE IN TRAFFIC, BUT EITHER WAY IT WAS GOING TO COME OUT GOOD “Well, I’m wondering how long Andy Lally is going to take before he starts figuring this stuff out and getting the hell out of the way. We’ll move him out of the way; we proved that.”
YOUR FIRST ONE-TWO AS AN OWNER: "Yeah, this was the perfect weekend to have Ryan on the pole and us on the front row and to sit here and get our first first and second finish its just an awesome day for Stewart-Haas Racing. You guys at the shop that are not here, you did an awesome job. These things have been good we just needed one weekend where we didn't have something stupid go wrong and it happened for both of us today."
AS TONY STEWART THE DRIVER ARE YOU LIKING HOW THE RACES ARE LINING UP AND THIS TEAM IS TAKING IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL? "Yeah, we ran the Kinds Royal last night at Eldora. I got three and a half hours of sleep by the time we got here and my dad said he thought I fell out of the seat last night so I guess they don't have to worry about us falling out of the seat. This is definitely a stretch that we like coming up here, so this is a lot of momentum and we couldn't have done this without Hendrick engines and Hendrick Chassis. Those guys do a great job for us every week. Darian Grubb and Tony Gibson and my buddy down there Ryan, just an awesome job this weekend by all those guys."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH :
BEHIND THOSE SUNGLASSES THERE IS PROBABLY A LOOK THAT SAYS ‘ OW DID I GET HERE’. A FIFTH PLACE AFTER ALL YOU HAD TO DEAL WITH TODAY, HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
“Well, I was just driving my guts out, man. Anything that could have gone wrong today did. It started out with a bad qualifying effort on Friday and we paid the price for that on pit road and track position at the start; and then we had some issues on pit road. And then the No. 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya); I don’t think of the three times he’s wrecked me it’s been intentional, but he’s out of Mulligans and I’ve had enough of oh, I’m sorry, and you’re spun out. It’s happened way to often to the No. 48. Hopefully we can get that corrected moving forward and still amongst all that stuff going on, we rallied back to fifth. And we did it the hard way, by passing cars.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH:
WAS THAT AN EXHAUSTING RACE? “No, not really, just real hot. The temperatures are real real hot. Physically it was fine, but, you are cooking. Your face is all hot. But it was good. We got it to drive pretty good a couple of times, but, most of the time, we weren’t very good. I think we definitely will try and start from scratch when we come back next time. We struggled all weekend. In practice we just didn’t really have the speed we had last year. We’ve just got to figure out why. What’s the difference in this tire and try to figure it out. I mean, every damn week they change the tire. We had a pretty good running here, but I guess the government is getting on ‘em about how they build them, or something and they had to bring a new one here. Some kind of new construction. I didn’t like it, but we can figure it out and get a setup going and try to figure it out where it will drive good.”
IS THAT THE MAIN CULPRIT IN THE DIFFERENCE OF WHAT YOU DID HERE LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR? “We tried to run the same setup and we weren’t very good in practice and we messed around. None of us were really good. I think track position was real important and why a couple of guys on our team got decent finishes. None of us were really that strong. The No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) was really good. We’ll look at what he did and try to come back and do a little bit better job. We didn’t do a good job. We tried really hard. A lot of effort, but just struggled all week with the car and getting the balance that we need in the car.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR FINISH? “Well, 15th ain’t awesome. But certainly better than what we have been putting on points-wise. We had about a 15th place car last week and I have just got to stay calm and take what the heck I can get instead of trying to make something happen and ruiing the day like I did last week. Today I just tried not to go crazy cause I was really getting frustrated with the way the car drove. I was trying not to flip out in there and just try and get what I could get.”
WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU TODAY, A 15TH PLACE FINISH SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD: “Well, we’ll take it. I definitely thought we would come here and run better than we did. We were a little disappointed to say the least in how the car ran today. I think we got a pretty good finish out of it. We probably could have maybe tried to stay out instead of pitting at the end there and make it work, but I think we would have ended up somewhere around 15th anyway. So that’s just the way it was.”
YOU’RE 9TH IN POINTS RIGHT NOW, 75 POINTS BACK. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?: “Well, how far ahead of 11th I think is the most important part.”
SEVEN POINTS: “Yeah, that’s pretty tight. So we’ll have to keep an eye on that.”
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 GOOD SAM/CHEERIOS CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: ON HIS DAY:
"It seemed like we were playing catch up all day in the No. 33 Good Sam Club Chevrolet. In the end, our pit strategy didn't work out at all and we ended up 17th. We led some laps and I think we are still 12th in points."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST:
ON HIS DAY: "I don't even need to say anything ..... Looking forward to a week off to regroup and take a break from the world."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DRIVE TO END HUNGER CHEVROLET – FINISHED 11TH
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “Oh, my goodness! What didn’t happen today? It was a pretty crazy day for us. But certainly a lot to smile about with how great our car was. My goodness, the car was so good. I could tell at the beginning of the race that we just had to be patient and try to get track position. I thought that Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) made some great call there when we took four (tires) and others took two, it was a little risky but it really paid off for us. That got us a big lead. I think all we really had to do was maintain that towards the front and I think that the results might be a little bit different today. But that’s what you have to do. You have to survive these races in a lot of different ways and we had a lot of obstacles thrown at us with the alternator issue, which caused me to have to turn my A/C off and brake blowers, which probably ultimately blew that right front tire there at the end. So it was a challenging day in a lot of ways. But it was certainly something. And we’re excited about coming back here later in the year to this race track. Our car was fast.”
DID YOU NOW THAT RIGHT FRONT TIRE WAS GOING? “No, I had no idea. Again, we had so many issues thrown at us today that the one that I wasn’t really thinking a whole lot about was what kind of temperature we were putting into the brakes when those blowers were off or have to cycle them and turn them on and turn them off. That long of a run on tires, I would have been a bit more conservative. I thought (Denny) Hamlin was starting to check-up, trying to save fuel and we had a shot at getting to him, so I started charging the corner a little bit harder and so I think we put too much temperature on it and that blew the right front tire.”
YOU TALKED ABOUT WANTING TO GET INTO THE CHASE AS A CHAMPIONSHIP THREAT, NOT JUST GET INTO THE CHASE. GOING INTO AN OFF-WEEKEND WITH SEVEN RACES TO GO, WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT WITH THIS TEAM TO STEP-UP TO THAT LEVEL? “From a performance standpoint I think today we showed everybody what we’re capable of doing; and for that I’m very excited. I know the guys feel really bad about the issues that we had, but it was a great lesson for us to go through this and understand how to deal with it and how we reacted to it; I thought they did a great job getting the batteries in the car and switching back and forth to get through the rest of the race. There was no alternator basically and we still had a fast race car. We were still capable of driving to the front and I think it was a very valuable lesson to us. Plus, we had some issues with alternators I think last year and we thought we had them solved. And so now we’ve got to diagnose that issue to make sure that doesn’t happen again, which can be a big plus for us. You want to go through all your checkmarks for preparing for the Chase for the Championship to make sure when you get into the Chase, if you do, you don’t have these kind of issues.”
ARE THERE ANY OTHER ISSUES THAT COULD BE A CHAMPIONSHIP THREAT MOVING FORWARD? “Well, you’ve got to have fast race cars and today we had a fast race car. I think we’ve shown that we can put fast race cars out on these one-mile race tracks, especially the flatter tracks; and we’ve got to back that up with effective performances on the 1.5-mile as well; which we’re closing in on, but we’ve got to get a little bit better. And so, I think fast race cars always help your chances for a championship and we seem to be putting that together right now. But we also have a very strong team. Today could have been disastrous for us with all the things that went wrong; and we still came up 11th.”
DID MARK MARTIN HAVE SIMILAR ELECTRICAL ISSUES? “We heard that but we have not been able to confirm that. So I’m not sure. I couldn’t answer that and bee 100 percent.”
ON HIS GAUGES LIGHTING UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE: “You know, that’s what I love about these new gauges. They have warning lights on them; the whole gauge lights up. When things start to happen, you’re able to pay attention to it and react before everything goes wrong. So we knew that we were losing the power to the engine from an alternator standpoint; a battery standpoint. We had one battery in there that has an automatic shutoff when it gets to a certain volt, and it shut off on us. So that’s why we had to come in and change the battery. But when I switched over to the other battery, yeah, everything was lighting up and flashing and going crazy. Sometimes we only run one battery, so I was pretty happy to have two batteries today. But yeah, these gauges give you a lot of information that’s very valuable and that can help you in these types of situations.”
By: team chevy