Ryan Newman - 12-ALLTEL Taurus -HOW DO YOU FEEL? "Really good. I mean, everything that happened tonight won't set in for quite a while, I'm sure, but just a great feeling, a great effort by the whole crew, the ALLTEL guys. We had to work hard...
Ryan Newman - 12-ALLTEL Taurus
-HOW DO YOU FEEL? "Really good. I mean, everything that happened tonight won't set in for quite a while, I'm sure, but just a great feeling, a great effort by the whole crew, the ALLTEL guys. We had to work hard for everything tonight. Nothing came easy, but it felt like everything we did, we did right, We probably didn't make a few people happy, but that's part of racing."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH DALE, JR., ON THE TRACK? "That was just good, hard racing. You know, he had four tires that were fresher than mine, and that makes a big difference at this race track. Just had to do all I could to hold him off. He caught up with me with about two laps to go, cut underneath me a couple of times, just he couldn't complete the pass. We had great Penske engine horsepower, and he got up underneath me pretty good there that last lap coming off turn two, and I got pretty loose and just kind of saved it, and he came up to me after the race and said nice save and good job. Just good, hard racing, real clean. He's just first-class today because he could've taken advantage of a good situation for him there."
HAVE YOU HAD TIME TO THINK ABOUT HOW LUCKY YOU WERE TO HAVE DALE EARNHARDT, JR., AND NOT DALE EARNHARDT, SR., BACK THERE IN THAT SITUATION. "No, I hadn't really thought of it that way, but, I don't know, I saw Dale Earnhardt race very clean very many times before." IN THE WINSTON? "I did think about it once because I was going through tri-oval and I had an opportunity to pass three-wide going through and I would've had to go through the grass. I remember that's what he did. I think he won that night, so I was thinking about it. I was like, I probably shouldn't do that right now."
WAS IT DISAPPOINTING TO YOU THAT YOU WEREN'T THE FIRST ROOKIE TO WIN THIS SEASON (JIMMIE JOHNSON WAS)? "Maybe disappointing isn't the exact word, but it didn't overly enthuse me. He's got an awesome opportunity. I said before, it's the best opportunity we've ever had, him and I, in our racing careers, and we're out there trying to do the best we can to make the best of it. His guys do an awesome job for him, and my guys, we work good together, and it wasn't luck that he won the California, it wasn't luck that we sat on the pole for the same race. We earned the victories. We've had some problems, like you said, where we haven't had the finishes that we were supposed to or should have when we were running in those good positions. We've been running up front almost all year and that's important for me as a driver to know that we're capable of winning in every condition."
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND ELLIOTT SADLER? "We were going into Turn 1, and I forget if it was the 28 or 18, but I had Elliott on my outside and his bumper was about at my door number, and this is going into Turn 1, and I had the opportunity to go up and go around and somebody and the hole was there, I mean I was almost clear of Elliott and I moved up a little bit and he was there, and you can call it racing, you can call it me pushing up into him, whatever, but he did a heck of a lot better job of playing baseball than he did accepting what happened. He threw it over another car and got me. I wouldn't say it's my fault, I wouldn't say it's his fault, but, you know, things like that happen in races like that, and I can say anything other than that. I'm sorry he didn't get to finish the way he wanted to, but I wouldn't place blame on anybody."
WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF YOU AND THE OTHER YOUNG DRIVERS BEING SO SUCCESSFUL EARLY THIS YEAR? "I knew we had the capabilities and the opportunities to have the quality of performances that we've had this year. We're both racing with top-notch organizations, and you got to have the right people and the right equipment and the right everything. Both Jimmie and I have grown up racing a lot of different kinds of race cars, different places, and we've got a great career behind us and ahead of us as far as the things that we've done and the things that we hope to do. Maybe it's just the way the cards are getting played right now, I don't know, but I enjoy racing with him and I enjoy racing up front."
YOU CUT YOUR TEETH ON SHORT TRACKS IN THE MIDWEST IN OPEN WHEEL CARS. HOW DID THAT EXPERIENCE FIGURE IN TO TONIGHT'S VICTORY, DRIVING FROM THE BACK TO THE FRONT? "We had a lot of sprint races. There was eight-, 10-, four-, five-, six-lap runs where you had to get guys when they weren't paying attention. You had to get guys on re-starts. I passed, I don't remember if it was four or five cars coming to the yellow flag one time, and it's legal, you know, it's not the gentleman thing to do, so to say, but we're racing for money, we're racing for putting on a show, and that's part of what I grew up doing. We raced every lap as hard as we could and we burnt the tires off the race cars, and that's what we had to do tonight."
JUNIOR MENTIONED THAT WINNING THE WINSTON KIND OF CHANGED HIS LIFE WHEN HE WAS A ROOKIE. HOW DO YOU THINK THIS VICTORY MIGHT IMPACT YOUR LIFE AND HOW THINGS MIGHT CHANGE FOR YOU? "I don't know, it sounds like I better talk to Junior. I'm sure it's going to be different, I'm sure I'll be treated differently from the fans, from other drivers and things like that. But it's something I always wanted to do is win races and beat the best there is, and I feel that's part of being a Winston Cup driver when you win a race. It's just something that I'll personally have to deal with and I'll take as a compliment, really, to know, like I said, we beat the best tonight."
WAS THERE ANY CONTACT THERE BETWEEN YOU AND DALE, JR., AT THE END? "I'm not sure. I don't think that there was. I know he got underneath me and got the air off of my spoiler, but I don't believe he did make contact with me. I don't know that for sure so I can't say, but he was clean with what he did. He was no different from what I did with Tony Stewart when I got the lead."
ON LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY. "We won our ARCA race here, we got the track record, the overall track record I should say, at this race track and it's a good place for us. It was for Jimmie and for Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart as well here. I guess coming into an all-star race you don't know what to expect."
WHAT IS MOST SATISFYING FOR YOU PERSONALLY ABOUT WINNING THE WINSTON? "For me personally, just beating everybody, the competition in it. Just knowing that we were the best today. And when you can go home and know that you did your best and you were the best and you are the best that you can't ask for much more than that and I don't get very emotional and there's not any more to add to that. It's just beating everybody."
WERE YOU PARENTS HERE TONIGHT? "My dad was here. My mom was home. She's flying in Tuesday. Everybody who sits next to her on the airplane is going to have fun, I'm sure."
ON THAT FALSE RE-START, IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE THAT SAW THE GREEN FLAG. WERE THE OTHER GUYS ASLEEP? "I can't honestly say. I know that when I did that re-start I might have been a little early but I do know that my rear tires stuck extremely well. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't, it all depends on when you get into the throttle, but we took off and I think it was kind of a situation where those guys knew that I took off and it was five laps to go, and sometimes people lay back and try to make it look, I may have jumped the thing but I don't know. I'm glad that NASCAR handled it the way they did."
THE CAR LOOKED GREAT ALL NIGHT. WAS IT BECAUSE OF THE CHASSIS OR ENGINE? "It was just a combination of everything. When you can get back in the power coming off Turn 2 and carry so speed in the middle of 1 and 2. It's a tribute to Penske engines and the horsepower they make and it's a tribute to how good our car rolls and how good it turns off the corner. It's just a combination."
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE MONEY? "I don't know, I hadn't thought about that. I did not think at all of the money tonight. I t was just about doing the best you could and getting experience for the 600 next weekend."