RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY/NCO IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed teams throwing the race, if drivers on the bubble will be more aggressive on the track, who he thinks is the team to beat...
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY/NCO IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed teams throwing the race, if drivers on the bubble will be more aggressive on the track, who he thinks is the team to beat for the championship and much more.
TALK ABOUT YOUR MINDSET HEADING INTO TOMORROW NIGHT'S RACE, FINAL RACE BEFORE THE CHASE. "Well I know what we need to do mathematically but I also know that we are here to win the race. There would be nothing more satisfying than to win the race and be locked in and have some ultimate momentum for the Chase. That's our goal for each and every race no matter if its Daytona or Indianapolis or Richmond race 26, is to win it. But we have to be aware of all of our situations and the offensive and defensive side of things and make sure we put ourselves in the best position so if we don't win we can still be in the right position for making that Chase."
THERE ARE A COUPLE OF GUYS THAT ARE CONTENDERS IN THE CHASE THAT COULD BE AS HIGH AS FIRST AT THE END OF THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT OR AS LOW AS 15TH, IS THAT KIND OF A FLAW IN THE SYSTEM OR IS THAT JUST GOOD DRAMA FOR THE SPORT? "I don't think there is a flaw in the system, we've got 26 races to get to this point and you could be way ahead or you could be way behind and there are some that are both. It is the way it is, we've said that before. I'm happy to be a contender right now before Sunday."
IF TONY IS IN A POSITION WHERE HE COULD THROW THE RACE JUST TO GET YOU IN CHASE AT THE END DO YOU THINK HE WOULD DO IT? "I've been paying him 10 dollars a race for the last 10 races so we can get a little kitty put together so we could do it. I don't know that he's got a phone call this week from (John) Force but I guess there is that potential."
DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE TEAMS MANIPULATING THINGS? "Absolutely, there are always teams manipulating things. We saw it a couple of years ago. We made a lot of talk of Roush letting every car lead a lap when they could and things like that when they were dominating, so yeah. That's another way of throwing it when you are giving positions just to get points and then giving it back. It's been going on ever since the first teammate back in the day. It's part of racing whether its NASCAR or NHRA, Indy Car its part of racing."
WITH A SPOT IN THE CHASE ON THE LINE, WOULD DRIVERS ON THE BUBBLE BE MORE AGGRESSIVE TOMORROW NIGHT THAN THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN AT THIS RACE TRACK BACK IN MAY? "I've seen drivers get double over-aggressive here because of the Chase and because of this timing of the year and that's again part of racing. I've seen guys that get over aggressive and not make it in because they were too aggressive. I'm just going to go out there and do my thing, drive the car and try to put the U.S. Army Chevrolet in victory lane."
WHAT'S IT GOING TO COME DOWN TO TOMORROW NIGHT, SOMEBODY IS GOING TO MAKE A MISTAKE, A DROPPED LUG NUT ON PIT ROAD, A BAD STOP? "Just like any other race it could be anything. It could be fuel mileage for all that matter. It could be two tires verses four tires, could be a bad pit stop. It could be debris on the race track. It could be anything. It's just like any other race. It's just now is the last time we're going to do math for a while when it comes to more than 12 cars. Like I said I'm happy to be in this position, I wish I was locked in like a few other guys but I'm happy to be in this position after missing it for a few years."
WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY REGARDING THE PETTY MERGER AND SWITCH TO FORD? "I'm going to start my own Dodge team next year and we're going to have Penske engines . . . no I don't know (laughing). We were talking about it earlier this morning, it's crazy to see the way the sport has changed. Who would have thought that Earnhardt and Ganassi would have merged? Obviously we saw a merge a long time ago with Ganassi and Felix (Sabates) and he might have set the standard. I don't know historically how we can trace that. To see some of these mergers to me is a weakness in the sport. We don't want to see mergers of organizations, we want to see organizations have multiple teams. I want to see six to eight cars go home every week, that's the way it should be in my eyes. I don't think that having those mergers is a good thing for the sport. I think it shows that we are potentially a little weak. You know the Dodge thing that doesn't really matter, it's just more the merger of the teams that I see as the bigger kicker."
OTHER THAN YOURSELF WHO DO YOU SEE AS THE TEAM TO BEAT GOING INTO THE CHASE? "That's a tough question to answer because I think there is more potential for any team to beat themselves than they are to beat who they think is a better competitor. If you're sitting here thinking about who you have to beat then you're not thinking about your own race car and what you have to do to be successful. You'd be crazy not to sit there and say the Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson are the team to beat but if I sit here and think about that then I would just be doing your job."
CAN YOU COMPARE WHAT YOU WERE THINKING AT THE START OF THE SEASON TO NOW SITTING HERE ON THE BRINK OF THE CHASE AND HAVE YOU ALLOWED YOURSELF TO BE THINKING AHEAD TO THE CHASE AND SOME OF THE TRACKS YOU WILL BE RUNNING ON? "A little bit. I think two weeks ahead. I've thought about Loudon and Dover but I've also thought about the races that we let go that would have locked us into the Chase. You think about all those things and what you can do to become a stronger team and a stronger driver and smarter and all those things. It's racing, that's why we are all here to see what's going to happen."
ON NEW HAMPSHIRE. "It seems like whenever I've had a long streak of not winning I've won at New Hampshire so I would really like to win this weekend but New Hampshire is a great place too. If we're fortunate enough to make the Chase it's a great way to start the Chase obviously. I really enjoy that area. I enjoy the race track. Obviously Dover and other places to but Loudon has always been a strong suit for me personally. I don't know exactly why. I don't know if I just adapted to the track really soon, I'm not sure but it's a place I look forward to going to for sure."
YOU'VE BEEN PART OF THE CHASE AND YOU'VE BEEN OUT OF THE CHASE, IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE MINDSET WHEN YOU'RE IN THE CHASE OUT OF THE CHASE WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING THOSE LAST TEN RACES? "It all depends on who you are. I'd like to think I'm a pretty respectful driver and I tend to try to respect those other guys that are going for a championship a little more in those last 10 races than before. At the same time I'm trying to get my best finish too so it all depends on the mentality of the driver you are talking to and respect to how they driver those last 10 races verses the first 26. Yeah, I'll be a little more considerate of drivers but I'll not risk myself a good finish because of that."
-credit: gm racing