RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET met with media and discussed his visit to Walter Reed, U.S. Army soldiers, the importance of Richmond to prepare for the fall race, and more.
TALK ABOUT THE CHECK YOU JUST PRESENTED “I didn’t even know how much it was for, but I believe it was for the hood that we had ran at our Phoenix race in the spring here. It was family and members of the Army that had their family faces on the hood. So it was pretty cool. We auctioned it off and I forget exactly how much (money) it raised, so the money goes to the Fisher House and in general just out to wounded warriors.”
AND YOU HAVE SOME HIGH LEVEL PEOPLE IN THE MILITARY HERE, DON’T YOU? “Yeah, Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley is here and obviously all the soldiers have equal importance. But it’s an honor to represent them. We’ve got the Army Medicine car here this weekend, and that was special going to Walter Reed (Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.) yesterday and seeing some more soldiers and I was happy to see it was the fewest amount of soldiers that they’ve ever had in there. So that’s good as well.”
DON’T THOSE SOLDIERS REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR VISIT TO WALTER REED? “Man, it’s tough to talk about because it’s a great thing but it’s a different kind of great thing when you go there because it’s not something you want to see, but it’s a function that you’re trying to perform to make things better for everybody. I’ve always said that I walk into there and am trying to cheer up somebody and they end up cheering me up.
But it’s neat to see the correlation between the solders and what we do in NASCAR and you know, just try to represent them and get to talk to them and thank them for their service and what they do for our country.”
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ANY STORIES FROM THOSE SOLDIERS WHEN BASICALLY THEY SAY THAT YOU GOT THEM THROUGH IT? “Well, not direct. What they do is their teamwork. Their teamwork gets them through it. They have each other’s back. That’s why so many at Walter Reed who are injured want to go back and be with their command and that’s saying a lot about teamwork. So, I think that they, in what that they do, the ones typically that we see, that have suffered from bombings and things like that, they’re the ones that have gone through together it as a team and they want to get back as a team. They understand our team, and our perspective of it, but me driving around in circles doesn’t necessarily correlate to them getting through their problems.”
What they do is their teamwork. Their teamwork gets them through it.
IS IT A DIVERSION FOR THEM; SOMETHING FOR THEM TO THINK ABOUT? “Oh, it’s something that they enjoy. You talk about driving cars fast and doing things fast and the teamwork and there is a great correlation between an Army soldier and a NASCAR driver and the crew members and everybody else for that matter.”
ON TAKING NOTES AND UPDATING THEM FOR THE FALL RICHMOND RACE “No matter what in September, it has the potential to be a guaranteed make or break just because of the way the win situation works, not to mention the points. The points could be one perspective of it, but somebody breaking a tie for a win or of getting a win that puts them into the Chase could be a different perspective of it as well. Richmond has more importance in respect to the spring race and obviously the fall race, for that matter now than it ever has.”
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AT DARLINGTON NEXT WEEKEND? “I look forward to Darlington. It’s one of my favorite race tracks. The tire test was a good tire test. Just for us, when we went down there, was to validate what they had and make sure because of the situation with the asphalt that the track hasn’t changed that necessitated a tire change and it didn’t. So it was an opportunity to do down there and validate things for Goodyear and work on our race car at the same time.”
-source: team chevy