Ryan Newman Wins 19th Career Pole RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- On the pole again "It was fast. I came in here trying to find a Subway sandwich. I'm a little hungry, but I didn't find any. "Matt and the guys did an awesome job...
Ryan Newman Wins 19th Career Pole
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- On the pole again
"It was fast. I came in here trying to find a Subway sandwich. I'm a little hungry, but I didn't find any.
"Matt and the guys did an awesome job tuning the race car. Being at the right place at the right time with the way the car is set up and hitting my lines and my marks... We've got a great package and great horsepower. I thought we could run a 23.49 (actually ran a 23.398). That's what I thought we were capable of, but obviously we surpassed that. We had a substantial pickup from practice. It was just a matter of hitting everything right and the guys tuning on the car to make it perfect.
"(Track conditions) I can say for sure it didn't hurt our performance. Typically Rockingham is not real sensitive to heat because the track is so porous and the grip goes away so fast it doesn't give it a chance to heat up the racetrack. Nevertheless, I think the conditions were better for qualifying. I think they were pretty similar for everybody.
"We tested here and learned a few things. This is a place where you typically plan for rear traction later in the run because the tires fall off. With the downforce being less in the rear because of the spoiler this year, I think you're going to see situations with rear tires later in the run. You come here and test and maybe trick yourself sometime of how good or bad you might be. We just look forward to taking the things we learned in the test and apply them in the race on Sunday, if we get a practice tomorrow.
"I was teasing Borland at Daytona. I told him if we drove the car backwards it might go faster. It doesn't say which direction you have to drive the car. We struggled with qualifying at Daytona. We look forward to coming back here. It's something we've always said in Daytona. Rockingham is next week and it's something we're looking forward to. You're right. It's been a big drought (poles). It does feel good to be back.
"I don't understand why we spend 10 days down there (Daytona) for 500 miles. It offers the same points at Daytona as it does here. This is an equal opportunity to better yourself in the points position and work your way toward the championship. There's no difference in the outlook from that perspective. We struggled at Daytona finding speed, and that's the main thing to get over. Typically, if you struggle at Daytona you look forward to Rockingham. If you do good at Daytona then Rockingham may not matter as much. "Getting four days at home sometimes is nice, but routine, after doing this for two years, routine isn't very important anymore.
"If they could take this race track, ever how many acres they have here, and cut it out and re-implant it into a different market, I think that would be the ultimate. It's a great race track. It's really close to Concord. It's really close to Darlington and a couple of other race tracks. It might hurt it from a certain perspective, but I really enjoy the race track. I really enjoy racing here. It's a great racing facility. We were talking earlier, and the garages we have here in Rockingham are better than the ones we have in Daytona, so it's a great place and a great place to race. It's a lot of fun. I'll miss the second race, but California isn't a bad racing race track, either.
"I don't think they (Dodges) have an advantage. I wouldn't tell you if we did. I think it's just coincidence. Rusty usually qualifies well here. The 9 car won the race here in the fall. Mayfield ran good here in the fall. It's a combination of things. I think it's more coincidence than anything.
"I don't necessarily do what Rusty does because we both came here and tested. We drive different and like different things because of the way we drive. It's Rockingham and I've raced here four times in the Cup Series. I wasn't in dire need of knowing what's going on. Nevertheless, I'm sure notes have exchanged hands.
"I haven't thought about that, but no matter where you're at and nobody who it is or where it is they have to meet NASCAR's speed number. Whether it's an injured car on lap 398 or a slow car on lap 2, it doesn't really matter.
"We're not doing anything different than we've ever done. It's just a matter of having experience under our belts and coming back and doing what we did today. Experience has given us that opportunity. I thought that last year and it didn't happen. It didn't happen for different reasons. You've got to perform on Sunday whether it's bad luck or good luck or pure skill.
"The only things that were of our making were the rear gear failure at Richmond and the blown engine at Michigan. We crashed at Daytona and we blew a tire at Talladega. There was nothing I could do about that. It's just putting everything together and figuring out what's right and wrong and then being able to do it.
"From a driver's perspective this track is a little misleading. The track has so much grip when the tires are new you want to drive it so hard. You can only make it around one or two laps. The bottom line is you need to be smooth and you need to gauge what speed you're going versus what speed you need to slow down and hit your marks. It's no different than any other race track. It's just that here the tires fall off faster. There was nothing that stood out on our run. It didn't feel like a strong lap. It just felt like a plain, old lap."