Newman, Army Team Take on The Glen in Season's Final Road Race WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 4, 2010) -- When it comes to Watkins Glen International, Ryan Newman has a fondness for the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course. He is not fazed at all by the ...
Newman, Army Team Take on The Glen in Season's Final Road Race
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 4, 2010) -- When it comes to Watkins Glen International, Ryan Newman has a fondness for the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course. He is not fazed at all by the delicate left and right-hand turns, the back straightaway "bus stop" chicane or even the stock car oddity of right-side entrance pit stops.
"Watkins Glen is a unique venue and a fun place to compete," said Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet. "I really like the layout because you can attack the course. You can pass at the Glen and all of us drivers like a facility where you can pass. Our other road course track -- Infineon Raceway -- is more of a technical and finesse circuit."
Newman, who is 15th in the driver standings and 138 points outside of Chase territory, feels that success in Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen could come down to pit-road strategy.
"Pit strategy is critical at the Glen and most likely we're going to be faced with one or two tough decisions during the race when it comes to pit stops," explained the 32-year-old Newman. "We took a pit-road gamble last week at Pocono and it paid off. Considering where we are at in points (15th) we're going to have to take a few more chances. We're running out of races, but continuing to battle hard with a Soldier-like never-give-up attitude."
Last week in Pocono, a calculated call by U.S. Army crew chief Tony Gibson kept the No. 39 team in the hunt for the Chase. On the final pit stop at Pocono (Lap 166 of 200), Gibson called for fuel only. The decision vaulted Newman from 24th to eighth in track position. Though he was at a disadvantage of not having fresh tires, Newman held his own and finished the race 12th.
"You have to look at the big picture when deciding on these pit calls," said Gibson. "It's a guessing game most of the time. We needed to take the chance last week to get better track position. It worked and gave us a nice comeback. We'll probably be more bold in our pit strategy since our main focus is making the Chase."
Newman, who has had his ups and downs at the Glen, had an auspicious debut at the central New York road circuit during his 2002 rookie campaign -- he was runner-up to his current team owner Tony Stewart.
Newman's overall Sprint Cup record at the Glen is eight starts, one top five, three top 10s. His average starting position is 9.4 and average finishing position is 16.9. His last top-10 finish at the Glen was eighth in 2006.
Newman will also be competing in Saturday's Zippo 200 Nationwide Series race, driving the No. 1 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing.
-source: penske racing