Talladega II: Newman - Friday media visit

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed this weekend's race, the new safety measures at Talladega, Texas next week and more. TALK ABOUT YOUR OUTLOOK THIS WEEKEND HERE AT ...

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed this weekend's race, the new safety measures at Talladega, Texas next week and more.

TALK ABOUT YOUR OUTLOOK THIS WEEKEND HERE AT TALLADEGA. "Well I don't know what to expect. Nobody knows what to expect. This type of racing, this track after the first race here this year we may have something the same, something worse or something better. This track has gone 500 miles green all the way and it's had many yellows. We just look forward to the opportunity to have a good run with our U.S. Army Chevrolet and move up in the points and try to get that first win of the year we talk about every week."

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THIS MICHAEL VICK AND THE NFL, SHOULD THE NFL HAVE LET HIM BACK IN? "I don't know exactly how to answer that other than to say that the justice system isn't always just. I think that's totally separate from his profession. His personal life and his profession are two different things in respect to the mistakes that he's made. I think you can read it two different ways. Do people have the right to be forgiven, yes. Do they have the right to resume what they were doing once they're forgiven, who knows. We as dog lovers have our opinion of him which is more than obvious but I don't know exactly how to read that or answer that in respect to the business/professional side of the NFL. I don't know what article you are talking about but I do know based on the history it's a very bias conversation when it comes to animal lovers and Michael Vick."

YOU WERE VERY OUTSPOKEN AFTER THE SPRING RACE, ARE YOU PLEASED WITH WHAT THE TRACK HAS DONE TO IMPROVE SAFETY AND WHAT STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE TO MAKE SURE YOU GUYS ARE SAFE? "I commend the track on their additions from the fence standpoint and from a cabling standpoint. They're doing their part. It's important that we always try to make improvements instead of saying what we should have done in respect to that accident. The changes NASCAR has made with the restrictor plate I think is another step in the right direction. The cars themselves have been under scrutiny the entire season so that's a separate situation. Doing what we can to control the overall speed which in my opinion will not change the excitement of the race is a good thing. The track trying to protect the race fans is obviously the most important thing. To me it's more important than the drivers. I think that a lot of steps were made but I don't necessarily know that every step was made and I don't know that was even possible."

THE LAST TWO RESTRICTOR-PLATE RACES HAVE ENDED WITH LAST-LAP BLOCKING AND SOME SERIOUS ACCIDENTS, IS BLOCKING AN ISSUE PARTICULARLY WITH THIS PARTICULAR CHASSIS AND WITH AS CLOSE AS THE RACING IS? "Blocking has always been an issue. I think it was Richard Petty's quote when they created the second car the potential for racing started and as soon as racing started there was a potential for blocking with that second car. Yeah, blocking is a part of this sport. Blocking is a part of racing here more so than most race tracks even more so than Daytona. It's frowned upon by most drivers but there are a few drivers that try to take advantage of the situation. Also I'm happy that NASCAR doesn't intervene with blocking as other series have intervened because I don't think that's necessary. I think the drivers are fully capable of managing their situations. Having NASCAR let us manage those situations is as equally as important."

CAN YOU GIVE US A PREVIEW OF TEXAS NEXT WEEK? "Well I think going back to Texas for two things, number one its usually and more so now because the asphalt has aged it's gotten to be a better race but secondly the first time there with double-file restarts I think is going to be another bundle of excitement as we've seen most every race track this year. The bigger the race track, the wider the race track the more the double-file restarts have an impact. You know I saw very little difference at Martinsville compared to the way it used to be. But I think when you go to a place like Texas it definitely adds to some multiple levels of excitement and I think it's a great place for it. I love the speed. It's a fast race track. The weather should be cool so hopefully we can haul mail."

YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T THINK THE RESTRICTOR-PLATE CHANGE WOULD SLOW THE RACE DOWN TO THE POINT THAT FANS WOULD REALLY NOTICE ANY DIFFERENCE BUT WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL YOU NOTICE AND TALK ABOUT WHAT EFFECT IT WILL HAVE IF ANY FOR YOU GUYS? "I've always said that from 140 miles per hour and on up you don't notice much if at all any difference in speed. The only difference is you feel it when you impact or something impacts you. When you're going 20 miles per hour faster you're more than likely going to hit not just three things, but four things. Don't get me wrong the speeds aren't going to be down 20 miles per hour, they're going to be down a little bit which in turn is hopefully going to keep the cars on the ground and that's the main focus. That's the main goal in respect to that. I think NASCAR was a little bit caught off guard in the first race this year when we saw some of the speeds when the cars hooked up. We had made improvements on our cars and everybody made improvements on the bodies and the horsepower part of it so I think speeds were a little higher than they anticipated once we had those situations. I commend them for trying to make the difference in speed and trying to make the racing safer for the drivers and the fans."

BUT YOU GUYS WON'T FEEL ANYTHING DIFFERENT? "It will be just a little bit slower. My point is if you're running 190 instead of 193 it's not going to be that noticeable. Like I said 140 and on up is just my number, that's what I've always kind of felt. You don't really notice any difference and to give you an idea that's the same basic speed a plane lands and takes off at. It feels like you can accelerate but you never feel any more speed. You don't realize you're going 500 miles per hour in an airplane until you hit something. Obviously we've never hit anything in a plane at 500 miles per hour because we wouldn't be here to talk about it."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Richard Petty