Newman Makes History; Takes Inspiration From Soldiers

Ryan Newman's historical schedule at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last week parallels in many ways the mental and physical strengths of the Army Strong Soldier.

Newman became the first NASCAR driver to compete in four races in the same week at the same track.

"It was challenging, but you know what -- our Soldiers are challenged every day to complete a difficult mission," stated Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing. "When you represent our Soldiers you know what it takes in terms of preparation plus mental and physical toughness."

The grueling four-race schedule at the world's fastest half-mile oval had mixed results for Newman, who had an early accident in the Modified race, finished fourth in the Camping World Truck Series race, a 13th-place result in the Nationwide Series race and a strong finish of sixth in the Sprint Cup main event.

"It wasn't just about entering four races to set a record, I wanted to win all the races," offered Newman. "Having the privilege of wearing the Army uniform gives me an extra boost of duty and competitiveness. We feed off many of the high-quality attributes of the Soldier and I want every Soldier to know that when I drive their race car, I know what an awesome responsibility and honor it is."

With NASCAR having a rare weekend off, Newman and the No. 39 U. S. Army team are preparing for the final two races before the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championships begins.

The final two pre-Chase races are at Atlanta (Sept. 6) and Richmond (Sept. 12). The first of the 10-race, 12-driver playoff championship format commences Sept. 20 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Newman is currently in seventh place, 84 points inside the Chase cut line.

"The 84 points might sound like a comfortable margin, but in reality it isn't," noted Newman. "Qualifying for the Chase has been a goal of this Army team. We're not there yet, but we need to continue the fight with the same mental and physical strengths of our Soldiers."

-credit: shr