Ryan Newman Charlotte 500 Thursday media visit

Team Chevy press release

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 COOKIES FOR CANCER/GENE HAAS FOUNDATION CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Charlotte, the rules changes for Talladega, his chances at the championship and more.

Ryan Newman, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Ryan Newman, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

TALK ABOUT RACING HERE AT CHARLOTTE. “I’ve always liked this track, it’s a really a fun race track for me. The race track I think itself is the raciest it’s ever been at least in my career as far as being able to move around on the tire that Goodyear has here. It’s usually a lot of fun. We haven’t had the performances here in the past couple of years that we are capable of and I feel like we’ve made improvements this year or at least throughout the summer to come here and have a much better shot than we have had in the past so look forward to it.”

ABOUT THE UPCOMING FUEL INJECTION TEST HERE AND IN TALLADEGA, CAN YOU GIVE US AN IDEA OF HOW DIFFERENT THAT FEELS TO YOU AND IF IT WILL CHANGE THE RACING MUCH AT ALL? “Honestly I haven’t driven one yet. The Charlotte test on Monday will be my first time in an EFI Sprint Cup car. From what I’ve had communications with other drivers, Aric Almirola was testing at Phoenix and then Scott Riggs has done some testing for Stewart-Haas Racing, that it drives very similar. It started off as a very rough system the way everything was working I know at the Kentucky test from what I heard. From what I had heard out there in Phoenix they made significant improvements in the drivability. Outside of that I will learn more on Monday for myself.”

WE TYPICALLY HAVE TWO OR THREE GUYS IN THE RUNNING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP AT HOMESTEAD, IS IT REALISTIC TO THINK THERE COULD BE FOUR OR FIVE, SIX GUYS LEFT THIS YEAR THE WAY THE SYSTEM HAS CHANGED? “That’s a better question to answer after Talladega. I think yeah there is potential. Then there’s potential there’s going to be a runaway too so who knows. I think it’s way too early to even suggest or have an opinion.”

NO MATTER HOW MANY RULE CHANGES THEY THROW AT YOU, IS THERE ANY WAY TO NOT MAKE THE TALLADEGA RACE CRAZY? “What’s your definition of crazy?”

EVERYBODY ON TOP OF EACH OTHER AND ALL THE PUSHING, BUMPING AND WRECKING. “I’ve been a part of that ever since they started racing at Talladega. I don’t think it’s ever changed whether we’ve been tandemly drafting each other. No matter what car it is, what restrictor plate it is, what tire it is, I’ve always seen that at Talladega so I wouldn’t expect it to be any different. I would say usual Talladega craziness. I think there is going to be less tandem drafting than there has been because of the rules changes that NASCAR has put forward. The second part of that depends on how cool or how warm it is going to be to allow us to push as long as we can because that is the true advantage of these two cars together.”

JIMMIE WAS TALKING THE OTHER DAY HOW HE’S HAD MORE STRESS THIS YEAR THAN IN PAST BECAUSE THE CARS HAVE BEEN SO MUCH MORE PREDICTABLE LIKE LAST WEEK WHERE HE WAS AVERAGE IN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING AND GOT IN THE RACE AND TOOK OFF. HE SAID HE’S WORKED HARDER TO UNDERSTAND THE ENGINEERING AND THAT KIND OF STUFF TO TRY TO FIND MORE SPEED OUT OF THAT SIDE OF IT, HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED SIMILAR THINGS THIS YEAR? “There’s times that we’ve hit on it and there’s times that we thought we hit on it and totally missed and that is how we were last week at Kansas. We had a top-10 car both practices and fired it up for the race and it was just like it was a totally different race car with very small changes so yeah the cars are definitely very finicky. I didn’t expect what the car was going to do at all. The first two runs of the race we were worse at the start of the race than we were off the truck in practice. The cars are sensitive number one and number two we weren’t as well prepared as we should have been.”

DOES IT KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT? “It doesn’t keep me up at night, no.”

WITH THIS BEING THE MIDPOINT OF THE CHASE, IS THERE STILL TIME LEFT FOR YOU TO GET THROUGH OR IS THAT ANOTHER ASK ME AFTER TALLADEGA QUESTION? “Both, there is time. I don’t know how much time there is to get to first, I don’t know how much time there is for us to get to fifth from 11th but there is time. There is Talladega mixed in there. I finished third there two years ago with Carl Edwards on my roof and he never crossed the start/finish line and he’s a guy in the Chase so you truly never know what is going to happen there. I don’t know. I think from our standpoint our team has done a good job to get to the Chase. We haven’t done a good job in these last three or four races in my opinion and we have to do a better job and the chance to redeem ourselves starts today.”

AT WHAT POINT IN THIS CHASE IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE RACING TONY (STEWART) FOR POSITION LATE IN THE RACE THAT YOU CONSIDER GIVING HIM THE POSITION BECAUSE OF WHAT THE VALUE OF WHAT ONE POSITION, ONE POINT CAN BE? “The last lap at Homestead.” WHY NOT SOONER? “Because that is how he would race me and that’s how I will race him. I’m making that assumption on his part but from my standpoint there’s still plenty to gain and there’s still plenty to lose so until it comes down to the very last second lets both fully march forward.”

DID YOU SAY PART OF YOUR PROBLEM LAST WEEK WAS YOU GUYS WEREN’T AS PREPARED AS YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN? “Well from our standpoint at the start of the race we made adjustments to the race car and were horrible the first run. The No. 48 I think went from 19th to eighth in the first segment and we went from 11th to 20 whatever it was in the first segment so yeah we didn’t fire off the way we should have at the start of the race and then that kind of set the tone for us. Then we had a bad pit stop which lost us a lap and a half which put us two laps down and we had to fight back from that point on. We actually got back on the lead lap but there is no reward for who fought back the hardest.”

SO THAT WAS PREPARATION AS FAR AS WHAT YOU ALL HAD DONE THE PREVIOUS DAY? “It was just balance of the race car. The simple things are just balance of the race car not the things we met at the shop last week or anything like that it was merely the balance of the race car and the grip we could get out of it. We turned a 30th-place car into a seventh-place car by the end of the race but that’s not what builds a champion.”

WE’VE HAD GENERALLY MORE FUEL-MILEAGE RACES THIS YEAR THAN NORMAL AND PART OF THE REASON IS THE FACT THERE HAVE BEEN FEWER CAUTIONS LATE IN RACES, ARE YOU GUYS JUST THAT GOOD NOW, WHAT’S GOING ON? “The major factor in the lack of cautions is Goodyear has done a much better job with the tires this year and we’re not having guys blow right front tires either at the start or the middle or end of the race. I think at the same time from a liability standpoint people’s engine packages have gotten better. It took all but the last three laps for the No. 24 to blow up last week and that’s rare. We’re seeing engine failures much fewer and farther between than we ever did. So a combination between the tires being better and not blowing those out as well as the emphasis of getting to the finish from an engine standpoint. The guys have got a much better answer when it comes to mileaging out the parts. The other part of it is the bumpers still don’t align the way they used to.”

THIS IS THE ONLY SATURDAY NIGHT RACE IN THE CHASE, DOES NIGHT RACING DO ANYTHING FOR YOU, ADD ANY EXCITEMENT OR DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT ALL? “Tickles me pink. (laughter). I really enjoy night racing. I always have. It’s fun to come here and be at home and race on a Saturday night. I’ve always enjoyed night racing from my very first quarter midget races back in the day until now. I think the cars look faster and you see the sparks flying, it’s not 120 degrees sitting in the grandstands and I think everybody enjoys night racing better. I’ve never seen somebody that says night racing is worse than day racing.”

YOU’VE TALKED A LITTLE ABOUT TALLADEGA, IS THE RULES PACKAGE THEY HAVE THERE NOW IS THAT THE BEST PACKAGE YOU GUYS HAVE GONE TO THAT TRACK WITH? “For me, it’s like with the inception of the restrictor plates it’s never going to be perfect. Just the way I like to race, the way I like racing to be it’s never going to be that kind of racing there. It’s a different kind of racing. Whatever it is, I hope our team does a really good job of getting prepared for it and then I can do what I need to do to be successful. If it’s a different restrictor plate, a different radiator opening, a different pop-off valve setting, whatever it is I just hope that we’re the best prepared out there. It’s not my ideal day of racing but there are the same amount of points to be had and we’ll go for them all.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman , Scott Riggs , Carl Edwards , Aric Almirola
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Tags chevrolet, newman, stewart