Charging Newman Ready for Another Mission RICHMOND, Va. (April 28, 2009) -- After finishing third in Talladega and making a big gain in the driver point standings, Ryan Newman is ready for the next weekly challenge -- Saturday night's Sprint Cup...
Charging Newman Ready for Another Mission
RICHMOND, Va. (April 28, 2009) -- After finishing third in Talladega and making a big gain in the driver point standings, Ryan Newman is ready for the next weekly challenge -- Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway -- Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400.
With the U.S. Army primary sponsorship on his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet Impala SS, Newman can expect a hometown boost from military personnel due to Richmond's proximity to the Washington D.C. area and local Army posts in Fort Eustis, Fort Lee and Fort Monroe.
"The more Soldiers the better -- they inspire us," said Newman. "A little extra adrenalin kicks in when there's a big military presence. This would be a great time to showcase the Army colors in Victory Lane."
Newman knows what it's like to visit Richmond's Victory Lane -- he won there in the fall of 2003 and posted runner-up finishes in his first two career Cup starts at the .75-mile short track.
Newman's overall record at Richmond is -- 14 starts, one win, four top fives, eight top 10s, one pole and 388 laps led.
What's also encouraging for Newman and the U.S. Army/Haas Automation team is their success at the two short-track races this season -- sixth at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and seventh at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
"I like short-track racing and I like Richmond -- that's always a good combination," offered the 31-year-old Newman. "There's a lot of confidence with this team and we feel that we can be a contender each and every week -- no matter the type of track."
Before the season started Newman kept reiterating that he expected his new team to come out of the gate strong. Though there was some bad luck in the early races the No. 39 team has poured it on recently.
Newman is 13th in the driver standings after nine races, only 30 points from being in the top 12, the cutoff for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. After the fourth race of the season he was 32nd in points.
"We took a few licks early but never got down," said Newman. "We have started to make some headway and that has obviously given all of us a huge morale lift. Consistency has always been the key to success and we just need to continue what we've been doing. The next time we come to Richmond I hope that we're a few positions better than where we're at now."
The Richmond race in September is the final race before the Chase playoff format begins for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.