RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET met with media and discussed radio communications in the race car, the weather, his thoughts about racing at Talladega, and more.
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT TALLADEGA
“We’ve started off the season way better than we have the last two years. The guys have done a really good job in the shop and we’ve had good performances on the race track and at the same time been able to put those together when the checkered flag drops. So, I’m just really proud of the situation that we’re in and the hard work that’s gone into it, obviously. But overall, coming into Talladega I’m just wanting to know when the dice get rolled if they’re going to play in our favor or not. Overall, just riding the wave.”
YOU’VE OBVIOUSLY HAD SOME BAD EXPERIENCES AT TALLADEGA WITH BAD CRASHES. YOU’VE MADE NO SECRET THAT YOU DON’T LOVE THIS KIND OF RACING. WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE WHEN YOU COME HERE? DO YOU JUST HOPE YOU CAN AVOID THE BIG CRASH?
“Who doesn’t? (laughs) Who doesn’t hope they can avoid the crash? I’m just like everybody else. When you’re up front, it’s great. When you’re not, it can be miserable. When you’re the recipient of somebody else’s lack of judgment then it’s not easy to talk about. And that’s pretty much it. It’s just that there is way more potential for that here than there is at most other race tracks. So, I’m no different than anybody else. I’d love to win the race, but when I’m the recipient of somebody else’s misjudgment, that’s even more aggravating.”
DO YOU DREAD COMING HERE BECAUSE OF THE BAD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED?
“I don’t say I dread it. It’s not my favorite race track, but I don’t say I dread it. I still love what I do. I still had fun in practice. I’m good.”
WE ARE WAITING FOR A RAINY THUNDERSTORM WITH POSSIBLE TORNADOS HERE. DO YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN WHEN IT COMES TO STORMY WEATHER?
“Of all the time I’ve watched the Weather Channel with tornados, they’ve never reported a bus lot of 43 expensive, heavy buses getting destroyed, so I’m going to stick with the odds and stay in the bus and go from there. I don’t know that we’re going to get the weather that they thought we potentially were going to get, but I think it has potential to be bad if it does get down here. I think we’re going to catch the tail end of what’s coming our way, but who knows what that tail end is going to have to offer.”
“Yeah, but it all depends on where your bus is parked. Our buses are spread out a little bit more there than they are at most places. We’ll make it. We’ll be fine.”
HOW MANY RADIOS DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR CAR FOR THIS WEEKEND?
“Gloves are going to stay on. Two radios. You said it. One primary and the other one has options. Honestly, we set up the same scenario here as we had at Daytona and I never used it at Daytona; not one single time did I ever use that second radio. I think it all depends on the situations that you’re in and how lucky you get.”
SO THE SECOND RADIO IS JUST YOUR BACK-UP?
“It’s my ‘all-options’ radio. It has me on it but it also has other people.”
I felt like I gave one away there because we had really, really fast race car...
AND YOU ONLY FLIP OVER THERE IF YOU NEED IT?
“Exactly. Otherwise, I can’t talk to my crew chief.”
DID YOU EVER FEEL LIKE YOU GAVE ONE AWAY? WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO LET THAT GO? WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN FOR YOU TO FORGET ABOUT IT AND MOVE ON?
“Well, the first thing that came to my mind was Martinsville, but the complexity of it is the ‘you’ part. You are the driver or you as the team. I thought Martinsville was a race where we had high potential to win. And we had a part break on the race car. Did I screw it up? I don’t think so. I don’t think we ever put blame on anybody. We re-established some of our parameters of the race car so it won’t happen again. Is there times, yes, that I’ve given one up? Go back to Charlotte in 2001 when I was leading and crashed a car in the middle of (Turns) 3 and 4. Yeah, I felt like I gave one away there because we had really, really fast race car. That’s not to say we weren’t going to blow a tire two laps later catching a 1032 bolt going into Turn 1.”
IS RACING HERE MORE MENTALLY CHALLENGING WITH ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH….THE 2-CAR DRAFT, THE RADIO COMMUNICATION, PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE RIGHT POSITION? THERE IS A LOT GOING ON IN THE RACE CAR. IS IT MORE MENTALLY DIFFICULT THAN OTHER RACES?
“It’s more mentally, and therefore, emotionally challenging, than other races. When I got out of the race car at Texas, I was a whipped puppy. I think a lot of guys were. It was way more physically demanding than I thought it was going to be. Every race is mentally demanding, but this, here and Daytona, pretty much top it. And there are places like the road courses where it is mentally challenging because it takes a lot of discipline on the physical part, but that discipline is on the mental part too; like you mentally can put yourself in a physically bad position is what I’m getting at on one of those road courses. So, yes. I was just going to say yes, but I didn’t want you to think I was being rude.”
-source: team chevy