Newman honors Veteran’s Day at PIR

Ryan Newman’s No. 39 carries that poignant phrase this weekend to honor those who have served and protected our nation: "The Home of the Free, Because of the Brave"

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2013) – “The home of the free, because of the brave.”

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Ryan Newman’s No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS carries that poignant phrase this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway to honor those who have served and protected our nation as America celebrates Veteran’s Day.

Recognizing the service of our country’s military veterans is something Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender, is committed to by way of a special program – the VA loan – that provides special benefits to both active and reserve military servicemen and women. Through this program, they’ve helped nearly 70,000 military families to date.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Newman’s Quicken Loans Chevrolet will feature a patriotic scheme showcasing more than 150 photographs of veterans who are part of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America – a charity Quicken Loans has supported for a number of years.

Quicken Loans is committed to helping veterans meet their home financing needs. Each month, the Detroit-based company helps thousands of active and retired military members with their mortgages. For the company, it’s just one way to thank them for their service.

This Veteran’s Day weekend, Newman would like nothing more than to give those who have served and protected our country through the years a ride to remember with a trip to victory lane at the mile oval nestled in the Arizona desert.

In his last seven starts at Phoenix, site of Sunday’s AdvoCare 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Newman has five top-five finishes, including a win in April 2010 and a runner-up finish in November 2010. His two finishes outside the top-five were marred by a pair of accidents that occurred while the 35-year-old driver was running in position to extend his impressive streak of finishes.

While Phoenix has been a strong racetrack for Newman in recent years, it’s also been a special racetrack in his career as it was the site of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut. On that November weekend in 2000, Newman wasted no time showing the series regulars his penchant for turning a quick lap as he qualified 10th in the No. 02 Penske Racing entry in his maiden effort, which was led by crew chief Matt Borland. Newman went on to be competitive during the race, too, although the final results show a 41st-place finish due to an engine failure.

Then, in 2010, Phoenix was the site of another big first for Newman – his first victory with SHR.

In 22 Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix, Newman has four poles, the April 2010 win, eight top-five finishes and eight top-10s.

As Newman & Company enters the penultimate race of the 2013 Sprint Cup season, there are two primary items on the agenda – to close out the season with another victory and, most importantly, to honor and thank the millions of veterans whose sacrifice and service allow Americans the freedom to pursue their individual dreams.

RYAN NEWMAN, Driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: Your track record at Phoenix International Raceway really speaks for itself. Talk about racing at Phoenix.

“I like Phoenix, I like the racetrack, it’s challenging. It’s a place I’ve raced at for the last 17 years. I’ve got quite a bit of experience at Phoenix. I’ve raced a lot of laps there. It’s a challenging racetrack and, for that reason, it’s a lot of fun. It’s unique and totally different on both ends of the racetrack, so it’s almost like two racetracks in one. It’s definitely a driver’s racetrack. The driver really has to drive and hustle the car a little bit and still be smooth. It’s those aspects that make the track a lot of fun to me.”

Even though the track was recently repaved and reconfigured, it seems like you haven’t missed a beat.

“They repaved and reconfigured the track in 2011, but 90 percent of the track really didn’t change. It was just the back straightaway that changed. It doesn’t really affect the racing that much, but it has the potential to be somewhat of a crash zone, now.”

Your first Sprint Cup start with Matt Borland as your crew chief came at Phoenix in November 2000, when you were running a partial schedule. What do you remember about that race?

“We qualified 10th and we ended up having a windshield tear-off cover up the grill and melt the engine down. Then we found out after the race that my brake pedal wasn’t returning all the way, so it was cooking my brakes. We had a whole bunch of car problems but it was a good experience. To qualify 10th in my first Cup start was awesome. Then I backed it up the next spring by winning the pole in my third Cup race, so we proved we were no fluke.”

Talk a little bit about what it means to you to have this special salute to Veteran’s Day on your Quicken Loans Chevrolet this weekend.

“Quicken Loans does a lot of work for the veterans of the military. In fact, there’s an entire team dedicated to helping veterans with their needs at Quicken Loans. They’ve helped an astonishing number of military members with mortgages through their VA loan program. It’s great to see sponsors activate their programs in a variety of ways, but to see something like this, a salute to the heroes of this country, it’s really special. I’m honored to get to continue this program for another year with Quicken Loans.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Previews
Tags chevrolet, nascar sprint cup, newman, pir