Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Notes 3 - Friday, March 6, 2009 NEWMAN VS SPENCER: While discussing his plans for the upcoming off weekend, Ryan Newman mentioned that he would be attending a charity boxing match next weekend. He noted that he would...
Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Notes 3 - Friday, March 6, 2009
NEWMAN VS SPENCER: While discussing his plans for the upcoming off weekend, Ryan Newman mentioned that he would be attending a charity boxing match next weekend. He noted that he would not actually be boxing, just attending to help a friend. But the mention prompted one intriguing question from the media: Which racer would you want to box against?
After sidestepping the question a couple of ways, Newman picked former driver and current TV personality Jimmy Spencer.
"He grew up around a junkyard; he's got to have some fight in him," Newman said. "Plus I know he's thrown a few punches before."
No word from AMS president Ed Clark whether that fight will be scheduled for pre-race festivities during the Labor Day race weekend.
READY TO BREAK THE RECORD: During his time in the media center Friday afternoon, Newman also addressed the possibility of breaking Buddy Baker's record of seven career pole positions at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's a question he's had to answer every weekend since tying the record two years ago. And although he's probably tired of the repetitive line of questioning, he was gracious as always with his answer.
"The bottom line is, it's exciting to have the opportunity to break any record," Newman said. "It's probably the only chance I have at holding a record, so I'll try my best to do that."
Newman said he talked to Baker earlier this week, and the legendary racer was typically quick-witted.
"He joked that he was going to come out of retirement to break the record himself," Newman laughed.
MOM, WHO'S BOBBY LABONTE?: Bobby Labonte spent Friday morning visiting a local elementary school on behalf of his sponsor, Ask.com, to discuss internet safety. But Labonte wondered ahead of time if any of them would know who he was.
"This was a bunch of 5th graders, and I won the championship in 2000," Labonte said. "I just thank goodness their parents told them who I was before I got there."
As part of his appearance, Labonte also chauffered one lucky 5th grader to school.
"William was here when I won in 2003, so that intro went really well -- he knew who I was," Labonte said.
A six-time winner at Atlanta, more than any other active driver, Labonte may have been downplaying his local celebrity just a tad. Either way, he has high hopes of picking up No. 7 this weekend after a hot start with his new team, Hall of Fame Racing. Labonte was fifth last weekend at Las Vegas and is 10th in points.