Newman Will Be Chasing Record, Points in Atlanta ATLANTA (Aug. 31, 2010) -- Sporting a paint scheme that will pay tribute to the U.S. Army Reserve, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and the No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing team are looking to draw upon their...
Newman Will Be Chasing Record, Points in Atlanta
ATLANTA (Aug. 31, 2010) -- Sporting a paint scheme that will pay tribute to the U.S. Army Reserve, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and the No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing team are looking to draw upon their own reserve heading into Sunday night's Emory Healthcare 500 Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Newman, who is in position to set a career-pole record at the 1.54-mile oval, also finds himself in a precarious spot with two races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins. He currently sits 15th in the driver standings, 118 points from the final Chase position of 12th.
"No matter how many realistic ways you dissect the numbers our backs are to the wall in every scenario," said Newman, a three-time Chase participant, including last year. "We're going into the race with the expectation of contending for the win in the U.S. Army Reserve Chevrolet. This is the Army team and you'll never see us quit. We have more than one million Army Strong Soldiers to answer to.
"We know we have a lot of ground to make up, and after the last race in Bristol (Aug. 21) it looks like we need a win to gain in points. We finished sixth in Bristol and went backwards in the standings. That's a pretty good indicator about how fierce the competition is week in and week out."
NASCAR's pre-Chase regular season ends Sept. 11 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The 10-race Chase playoff commences at the following Cup event -- Sept. 19 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The good news for Newman is the high-speed Atlanta track is one of his favorites. He and his former mentor Buddy Baker share the Atlanta Motor Speedway record with seven career poles. Newman posted six consecutive poles at Atlanta, starting with the March 2003 race. He will have the opportunity to be the sole holder of Atlanta's pole record during Saturday's time trials.
"It would be an honor to set the pole record in Atlanta and we'll do everything we can to achieve that milestone," said the 32-year-old Newman. "Atlanta is one of the best tracks we go to for three- and four-wide racing in the corners. I've always enjoyed Atlanta, especially during qualifying."