RYAN NEWNAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed the start to his season, the amount of crashes so far this season and other topics. Full transcript:
TALK ABOUT THE START OF YOUR SEASON: “It is the best two-race start to the season since my Daytona 500 victory in 2008. This just really proud to get started better. I think we have done a good job so far of carrying a good run in the last 10 races of last season into the off season and turning that into a good start to the season. That isn’t easy to do. Maybe Carl Edwards is doing it just a little bit better than us. Ultimately it has been a lot of fun to start. We led the most laps at Daytona which was a great feat for us as a team. I think it was the first time for me at a restrictor plate track and the first time for me at Stewart-Haas as far as leading the most laps I think. A good solid top-five finish at Phoenix. That is three top-fives in a row at that race track. Just proud of the effort the guys have put in during the off season and all the sponsors for giving us the opportunity to come back and do what we love.”
IS THIS THE FIRST TEST FOR THE NEW NOSE? “I honestly haven’t noticed any difference in the way the car drives aerodynamically or physically as far as hitting the race track with the new nose compared to the old nose. This new nose is supposed to be more rigid but in saying that, I wouldn’t have known any difference whatsoever and I don’t know many drivers that I have talked to would say anything any different.”
IS ALL THE EARLY AGGRESSION AND CRASHES A TREND GOING? “It is like you know that there is going to be like 185,000 people leaving the race track on Sunday but we are all going to try to get to the airport first. We know there is going to be traffic but we still try to do it fast. We honk our horns, we cut people off, it is just the way it is. Honestly, I don’t what happened. I don’t know if it was having Saturday just qualifying and more time to think about the race. I honestly think that what happened was NASCAR announcing the mandatory caution at 40 laps changed the strategy for some teams and we saw some guys that didn’t pit and stayed out and guys that were running up front were in turn running 15th and were trying to get everything back in the first couple of laps. It felt like green-white-checkered restarts at Martinsville or Richmond or Daytona for that matter sometimes every restart we had there at Phoenix for the first five or six. It was literally crazy. I don’t know how we didn’t have more crashes than what we did. I mean, the big crash that happened was because the tailpipes cut down the tire which was a freak of instance I guess you could say. It was chaotic was the best word you could use to describe the racing for the first 65 laps.
“Honestly I don’t know if it was because of that competition caution and the way things played out then maybe it will be different. I don’t know. I hope we all kind of learned from the chaoticness, which I think is a word; I tried to use it in Scrabble on the way here-chaoticness. I think that…I know we can do a better job than we did there. I don’t know if we all will hold up to our potential.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MARTINSVILLE? “I like it. I don’t know why it is being the biggest guy in the garage, I’ve never had one of those hotdogs before. (LAUGHS) I like the racing. I like the fact that you have to really modulate that third pedal that we don’t typically use as much, which I think makes it an exciting race for us drivers. The history of the sport, just going back to the days of the modifieds. Bobby (Hutchens, Stewart-Haas competition director) has shared some stories with me of his dad racing there in a modififed and getting up on the fence and climbing the walls, stuff like that. It is the kind of racing that we still do that is where we all came from. Whether it was stock cars or modifieds or open wheel cars, the short track, hard on the brakes, small tight half-mile racing I think 95% of the people in the garage still appreciate.”
-source: team chevy