Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 ALLTEL Taurus, was the fastest in the first practice session Saturday morning, but he hit the wall late in the session and has gone to a back-up car for tomorrow's race. He spoke about the incident following...
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 ALLTEL Taurus, was the fastest in the first practice session Saturday morning, but he hit the wall late in the session and has gone to a back-up car for tomorrow's race. He spoke about the incident following happy hour.
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus
"I just got loose. I didn't hit anything or do anything, I just got loose and couldn't save it. It's unfortunate, but, hopefully, we can learn something and go on and be better in the race."
WERE YOU ABLE TO LEARN ANYTHING WITH THE BACKUP IN THE LAST PRACTICE SESSION? "I think we learned a few things. We haven't diagnosed everything yet, we're just trying to get everything back in order as far as having two cars and figuring what's the best of what and everything else. We've got to start last, so that's gonna change our setup a little bit but we'll just go from there."
IS THIS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST TRACKS AS FAR AS MAKING THOSE EDUCATED GUESSES FOR SETUP TOMORROW? "It's perhaps the toughest. There are some other tough ones out there, but this place here is wicked when it comes to changes and temperatures and track conditions." YOU WERE WORKING UNDER THE CAR. "Well, we've got two cars to work on instead of one, so we need some more people and I guess I'm the one to help out. I'm capable of working on them and when they need help, I've got no problem helping."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR MENTAL OUTLOOK NOW? "It's not the first time it's happened this year, but we'll just have to see how things go. It's gonna take some time to get up front if we've got a car that's capable, which I think we will, and then it's going to be the same game it's been all year -- track position, pit strategy and missing the accidents."
Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Taurus, commented on being fastest during Saturday's happy hour session.
RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus
"The car is running really well and I'm pretty excited because some of things that we did the car responded to and it's the same Tide Ford we qualified and finished third with in the Coca-Cola 600 in the spring. So we were really optmistic coming here under these conditions -- bringing the same car and after running well the last four races, our expectations are high."
WHAT DID YOU WORK ON? "There were some things the team worked on. They had an agenda before we got here, but some of what helped us was doing a Goodyear tire test here a while back. Track time is a premium, it's so important. There's an absolute correlation between when the Tide team tests and how well we run. It's just amazing. The test we had at Martinsville last year produced a win and the test that we had at Atlanta, we all feel, could have produced a win had we not broken the transmission. The test we had at Rockingham in the spring of 2002 produced a pole and we gave ourselves a heck of a chance two win. We gambled at the end and ended up with a top five, but when the Tide team tests, we run really well."