RYAN NEWMAN IN THE ...
RYAN NEWMAN IN THE #12 ALLTEL FORD WAS THE RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE OF THE RACE AT TALLADEGA.
"It was a good finish and that's what we're here for. You have to succeed no matter what and when other people fail that's better for us. It's the way the sport works. We did good and the guys did a good job. I slid through the pits and that was our one mistake all day. We didn't have a lot of help in the racetrack drafting but we had some help and that was better than none. Overall, it was a good day for the Alltel Ford. It was one of those things where you get a good finish and go on."
THUMBS UP OR THUMBS DOWN ON THE SIZE OF THE FUEL CELL?
"I don't think it made any difference, you just have to buy more fuel cells now. It maybe took one or two pit stops out but I think you would have seen the same finish regardless."
YOU ARE IN THE TOP-FIVE IN WINSTON CUP POINTS. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE POINTS RACE.
"And it will. It's just the way that it is week in and week out anything will happen. Hopefully we're the ones on top at the end of the season."
HOW DEMANDING WAS THE RACE TODAY?
"I didn't have an air conditioner and we didn't have a yellow and about halfway through I lost my water bottle; it didn't work. I had no fluids the last half of the race. I think if I had a couple other things to help me out I would have been in a lot better shape at the end. I don't think that would have made our performance any different on the racetrack."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, #48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 37TH. JOHNSON COMPLETED 173 OF THE 188 LAPS BEFORE PARKING HIS CAR DUE TO ENGINE FAILURE. JOHNSON IS THIRD IN WINSTON CUP POINTS, 82 BEHIND LEADER TONY STEWART.
"We had a motor problem. I wasn't aware of the other problems our teammates had. I know the guys worked really hard to give us all the power they can and we're really competitive. It's too early to really know what's going on but it looks like a batch of parts or something for it to happen in all of our engines. We'll take it from here and move on."
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE START OF THE RACE?
"We never even had a chance top make a lap and we were wrecked. I don't know if Mark's (Martin) steering wheel fell off or what happened but coming through the tri-oval he turned across my nose and down through the grass and got us behind right away. It's just been a crazy day. It's always frustrating because you want to do well. It seems like in this points battle you're only safe to lead is leaving the last race. Whoever comes out of here the points lead now will probably go into week and have something crazy happen to them."
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF, #12 ALLTEL FORD:
"It was a pretty good day. We stayed out of trouble the whole day which was a big thing. The motor ran great all day and we got pretty good fuel mileage and Ryan did a good job saving some fuel and we were able to make it there at the end cutting out one stop. It definitely helped us out pretty big."
HOW CLOSE WAS IT ON FUEL FOR YOU AT THE END OF THE RACE?
"At the end we weren't too bad. We thought we'd be in pretty good shape, but the run before that was when we pushed it. We got down to less than a tenth of a gallon. It just worked out for us. We had to push it one time and it paid off. It could have burned us but luckily it didn't."
HOW DID THE FUEL CELL WORK OUT FOR YOUR TEAM TODAY?
"It was all right. It kind of took a lot of the racing out of it because it seemed like you were stopping so often that you were always in a mode of save some fuel and make it to a certain point in the race. You never were in a position where it was all out running. You were always thinking about pit stops, pit stops, pit stops. It was all right. It played out like what we wanted to do strategy-wise. We didn't think we would be able to do it but we got a lot better mileage than what we figured we'd be able to get so it all worked out."
WHY DID WE SEE SO MANY ENGINE FAILURES? WAS THAT A CONCERN YOU HAD ENTERING THE RACE?
"I think it's definitely a concern of everybody's. Obviously with seven races left, engine failures are big. We're always worried about having engine failure. Any time you are racing you are always pushing it as far as you can on engines. I know Hendrick had a rough day today with their motors which is very uncommon for them. They're one of the best engines out there. It hurt those guys today but I'm sure they'll have more motor nest week and they'll be good again."
DID WE SEE SO MANY FAILURES BECAUSE THESE ARE RESTRICTOR PLATE ENGINES?
"It's the same plate size that we've had all year so nothing was really different there. The guys that did have motor problems, I don't know if they had tried a different combination or not. That could have been it or it could have been a new part or bad luck or who knows."
SELECTED QUOTES FROM NEWMAN POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE
"The bottom line is that it was long and hot. To go green flag here all the way is definitely tough but today was a punishment I guess from Mother Nature. It was really hot out there. The guys on the crew did an awesome job. I slid through my pit there one time and we recovered from that. We had good pit stops, good strategy, and good fuel mileage. It was a pretty good day for the Alltel Ford. To come home with a top-10 in a restrictor plate race as a Raybestos® Rookie, we're pretty happy about that. My heel is blistered up pretty good so I'm shoeless."
DID THE FUEL CELL CHANGE FOR THIS RACE DO ANYTHING?
"It made about, I guess, two more pit stops. I think that was pretty much the bottom line. I think at the same point it made things a little hectic as far as breaking up the pack when everybody came down to pit lane at different times. You get five cars here and five cars there. We're so blind sometimes coming off turn four you get the wrong situations. A guy cuts out in front of you and there's a potential for a great accident. The answer that you are looking for is that I think it was pretty much the same race and I don't think it really solved anything, in my opinion. I still think it was a pretty good race."
"We had a pretty decent race car and I don't know what everybody else was doing. I think there were a few cars there in the top-five that definitely needed to save fuel. They were a few laps short and they had to save it. They wanted to stay in line. I really didn't have anybody behind me to help push. This isn't a handling racetrack like Daytona where you can jump to the outside and roll around the top and try to pick a few up at a time. I tried doing that but it just didn't work. I think I actually lost a spot there at the end."