RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 11th) "When you're the first person out on the race track, you just kind of don't know. Busch practice just got finished and we didn't know what to expect from the race car and the track and...
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 11th)
"When you're the first person out on the race track, you just kind of don't know. Busch practice just got finished and we didn't know what to expect from the race car and the track and everything else. To come home in 11th, that's not too bad for us. We came up here and tested with Rusty and had a really great test. Hopefully, we can be strong in race trim."
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM RUSTY ON A TRACK LIKE THIS?
"A lot of it is just how to drive the race track and how to attack it. As the tires fall off, what things can you do differently? We can go through throttle traces and other traces and see what he doesn't differently from me and what's better or worse. In situations like that, that's priceless information."
DO YOU ATTACK RICHMOND OR BIDE YOUR TIME?
"I haven't seen a race track yet that you don't attack. I guess sometimes you do it differently, but you always have to attack the race track because what you're really racing is the race track and not the race cars."
ANY REASON WHY THE TRACK RECORD WAS BROKEN BY SO MANY GUYS?
"I think it's just a combination of the sealer and the new tire that Goodyear brought. I think that, along with the conditions, were just very conducive for fast speeds today."
IS THE TRACK BETTER NOW THAN DURING YOUR TEST?
"It's a little bit better, but the biggest thing is it was 95 degrees here when we tested, so we gained a lot of speed. Our fastest run when we tested here was a 21.85 and that was as fast as we could go. We ran clear down to the zeroes today, so the temperature makes such a big variance and that's what I was alluding to about the difference between practice and qualifying and why we lost some speed."
CAN YOU COMPARE THIS TRACK TO ANYTHING ELSE?
"To me it's kind of like a cross between Memphis and IRP. It's got the radiuses of IRP somewhat because of the way you lead off turn four into the "D" shape, and Memphis is very similar because of its size and layout of the track."
WHY SO MANY INCIDENTS COMING OFF TURN FOUR TODAY?
"I think one of the hardest parts about turn four is you're getting so much grip out of the race track and out of the tire that the car can sometimes actually turn better than you think it will. You can get down and get that left-front tire on the apron and as soon as you do it, it just totally upsets the car and the next thing you know you're out of control and the easiest thing for the car to do is back into the wall. That's the only thing I can think of. In situations like this, sometimes the track has so much grip that as soon as you get a little sideways you're out of control. Sometimes when you get on a track that doesn't have much grip and you can slide around on, you can slide around no matter what. Say, for instance, Rockingham on old tires, you just slide around there. It's just given, but here you're pretty grippy."
DO SHORT TRACKS EQUAL SHORT TEMPERS?
"Like anyplace else, it depends on who you are."
IS THIS TRACK EASIER TO DRIVE THAN OTHERS BECAUSE THE YOUNG GUYS ARE DOING REALLY WELL?
"I don't think so. Different people adjust to different race tracks for different reasons. The one good thing about this track is that it's always consistent and doesn't change a whole lot. You go to some tracks and the pavement will change -- you think about Texas, things like that. It seems like this place is pretty much the same every year, knowing I've only been here for two years."