In a sport where winning is everything, where it is equally as hard to find victory lane, when someone blows into the sport and sets it on fire, it's bound to raise some people's ire. Ryan Newman is starting to experience some of the backlash ...
In a sport where winning is everything, where it is equally as hard to find victory lane, when someone blows into the sport and sets it on fire, it's bound to raise some people's ire.
Ryan Newman is starting to experience some of the backlash which comes with being the most winning driver on the circuit. Does he care? Not a lick.
Newman has scored a series-high eight wins and eight poles this season, sparking a controversy that maybe there is some "funky business" going on in the Penske shop.
Everything from accusations of fuel cell misuse to garner additional gas mileage (he has earned several victories by taking a fuel gamble), to talk of there being special million-dollar wind testing models being utilized by the Team Penske -- the garage has been a buzz not with how good of a driver Newman is, but how devious a cheater he must be.
"I'm not winning that many races ... surely he can't be," seems to be the tagline running through many of his competitors' heads as they scratch them in disgust.
Last weekend, after Newman's win in Kansas, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart all alluded to the fact that they were perplexed how the 12 team could possibly go 117 laps on one tank of fuel. While no one called Newman a big cheat, the implication was certainly hard to miss.
Newman thinks it's all a case of sour grapes.
"It's funny to hear all the whinin'," Newman continued. "It goes in one ear and out the other. We're focused on what we need to do. We'd like to go out and lap the field, but that's hard to do the way the rules are. We're playing within the rules NASCAR puts out there, whatever the week is."
Cheating in NASCAR? Say it ain't so, but the fact is that if you are on a winning streak of any kind, someone, somewhere is going to accuse you not of being good, but of being crafty.
Newman has some refreshing words for those racers, "The people that accuse you of cheating have cheated at some point and still couldn't win, so they are accusing you of cheating because you're beating them."
If Ryan Newman has his way he we will win the last six races of the season, and break the modern-era record of most wins in a single season. It's a record held by Jeff Gordon, who won 13 races in 1998 -- and who had the finger pointed at him for cheating all the way to four Winston Cup titles.
Pretty good company for Newman to be included in.