Atlanta II: Ryan Newman top rookie press conference

RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus -- RAYBESTOS ROOKIE PRESS CONFERENCE (Finished 10th) "We were fast on the long run, which we didn't really anticipate.  That's been one of our struggling points this year, but we struggled with the race track at...

RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus -- RAYBESTOS ROOKIE PRESS CONFERENCE (Finished 10th)

"We were fast on the long run, which we didn't really anticipate.  That's been one of our struggling points this year, but we struggled with the race track at the start of the run.  It was an up-in-the-air deal with the whole situation -- with the rain and the race track not changing as much as it typically did in the spring race.  That's all we really had to gauge off of.  It was hard to figure out exactly what to do.  We struggled with getting the car tightened up at the start of the run.  My crew chief said we were a half-second off the first 30 laps and a half-second better average-wise the last 30 laps of a run.  That's tough to do here.  We were actually speeding up as the run went on, but, overall, it was a good run for the ALLTEL Ford.  We lost a little bit in some of the points race, but we gained a little bit in some other parts."

LOOKING FORWARD TO ROCKINGHAM?  "We have in the past.  We had a pretty good run going there in the spring.  We had a lug left loose and had to come back in.  We lost two laps and made them both up and finished 14th.  That was pretty respectable, I thought, as far as team-wise for one of our first Winston Cup races.  Like I said all year, it only takes one little thing to knock you out and knock you down to not be able to redeem yourself.  Hopefully, we can go back and have a little bit better performance and keep ourselves in this points race."

ON NASCAR'S RAIN CALLS TODAY.  "I agree.  We raced the race track today and all weekend and NASCAR seemed like they were racing the weather no matter what.  I guess the one thing they had working for them was that it never really poured around here.  Every once in a while you'd get that light drizzle.  It didn't kill us, it just got the track wet.  Like Joe said, it's tough when you're going 200 miles an hour down into a corner and you're the first guy to it and you don't know if it's really wet or not.  But they did a good job.  It's their job to push the limit, but I think they did a good job of doing it." 

DO YOU AND JIMMIE TALK ABOUT THE POINTS TITLE AND ROOKIE CHASE?  "Jimmie and I talk about it a little bit, but the bottom line is that we're out here doing the best job we can no matter what.  We're not here to give any or take any, we're just here to get what's awarded.  That's why they call them awards.  Rookie of the year versus Winston Cup championship, we're here to win 'em both.  That's our goal.  What we win is what we win, it's just an award." 

IS 204 POINTS TOO MUCH TO OVERCOME AT THIS POINT?  "There's exceptions to everything.  I guess you can go back to Kulwicki's deal.  I guess he was 246 out with four races to go.  Granted, the competition is tougher and the points battle has been different this year, but, mathematically, we've got a shot and that's what we're going for.  It's like when you meet a girl and she tells you you've got a one in a million chance, you've still got a chance." 

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman