Facing a Daunting 4-race, 4-day Schedule, Newman Looking for Bristol DejÃƒ Vu BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 19, 2009) -- Ryan Newman is set to embark on a herculean schedule -- going where no NASCAR driver has ever gone before. He will compete in four...
Facing a Daunting 4-race, 4-day Schedule, Newman Looking for Bristol DejÃ Vu
BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 19, 2009) -- Ryan Newman is set to embark on a herculean schedule -- going where no NASCAR driver has ever gone before. He will compete in four races in four days -- all at the ominous high-banked, half-mile oval of Bristol Motor Speedway.
Newman will drive in Wednesday night's double-header -- the 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race followed by the 200-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The demanding quadruple schedule continues on Friday night in the 250-lap Nationwide Series race and will culminate Saturday night in the 500-lap Sprint Cup featured event.
It's a total of 1,100 laps at the grueling motorsports bullring.
Newman will drive the modified car for owners Gary Putnam and Kevin "Bono" Manion, the Silverado truck for Kevin Harvick, Inc., the No. 5 Nationwide car for Jr. Motorsports and the No. 39 U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevy Impala SS in the Cup race for Stewart-Haas Racing.
While fans ask why is Newman doing the "grand slam" schedule, the simplest version came from his boss and teammate Tony Stewart.
"I talked to Tony and asked him what he thought about the four-race schedule," stated Newman. "He asked me if anyone has ever done this and I said 'No'. He then said, 'You got to do it.' "
While the competitive Newman wants to win poles and races in the Bristol quadruple, he will be looking for some Bristol deja vu in Saturday's under-the-lights Cup race as he continues to battle for a spot in the Chase.
Entering Bristol, Newman is in ninth place and 66 points inside the Chase cutline, a position he has been in since the May 2 Richmond race.
Newman's last visit to Bristol in March was the start of his dramatic turnaround. He came to Bristol in 32nd place with a best result of 22nd in the first four races of 2009. He left Bristol with an impressive 7th-place result and went on to become a Chase driver, scoring eight top 10s in the following 10 races.
"Looking back, Bristol was a pivotal performance for the U.S. Army/Haas Automation team," recalled Newman. "The following week we finished sixth in Martinsville and later had a fourth in Richmond. The record shows that we have a strong short track program. We just need to continue to do what we've been doing in the Soldiers' car."
When asked what it's going to take to get into the Chase, Newman said, "I don't know what it's going to take exactly. All I know is we're going to try our best, do what we can with the U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevrolet to put it in the best position at the end of the race.
"If that means being a little conservative, or risk a little bit, then we'll do it. It all depends on the situation and the points of other people at that time. I mean, you get top fives and you're in no matter what. But that hasn't been easy to do."
Newman added, "Everyone will tell you that Bristol has always been a game of survival. Everything happens so fast there. You don't have time to think or blink. I've always enjoyed the Bristol night race. I know fans didn't think there was enough bumping and banging last year. But to me the racing is better now. We can race side-by-side and actually gain spots without wrecking someone."
In 15 career Cup starts at Bristol, Newman has claimed eight top 10s. His best finish was second in the 2004 August race.
More Newman quotes about competing in four races at Bristol.
"It is going to be a challenge to compete in all four races, but I am really looking forward to it. It's a lot of miles, a lot of laps. I have done the Nationwide and Cup races on the back-to-back nights in August before, and that can be difficult. Throw in the Truck and the Modified race on Wednesday, and it's like I am running a second Cup race there. So, I know it is not going to be easy. I know it's going to be hot and sticky at Bristol. And always, Bristol is a very physically demanding track. I will have to be sure to stay hydrated and loose, and Bristol is as much a mental racetrack as a physical one. It's going to be fun and a challenge and I'm looking forward to it. I just hope that I can put on a good show for all of my sponsors and all of the fans out there who will be supporting me."