RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Wins Circuit-leading eighth pole of the season, sets track record in the process "The track wasn't as fast as I thought it would be. The guys at Penske Racing had this ALLTEL Dodge fast right off the ...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Wins Circuit-leading eighth pole of the season, sets track record in the process "The track wasn't as fast as I thought it would be. The guys at Penske Racing had this ALLTEL Dodge fast right off the truck. I gave everything I had on the second lap. I didn't hold back on the first lap, but I gave it everything I had on the second lap. We just do the best job we can each week. I wasn't surprised the lap was that fast, but I had to really hang it out on the second lap. I thought the first lap would have been better. It makes it a whole lot easier when the guys at the shop do the great job they do with the car. I wouldn't say I'm surprised. It feels good for the team. It builds momentum for them, and we'll try to take that into Saturday night.
"Anything around 29 seconds has a shot at the pole here. We unloaded off the truck really fast. We expected to go a little faster with the temperature change tonight, but I think I underestimated. It changed a little less than I thought it had. The car was good. Matt and the guys did an awesome job with the ALLTEL Dodge. We took a fast car and tuned on it a little bit and kept it fast.
"When we get on a roll or when the team is doing well, it usually carries momentum both mentally and physically into the upcoming races. That's the good part of it. I don't think I've ever doubted, and I don't think Matt has ever doubted what we said to each other. We had confidence in each other. Obviously we know we're not going to always be right, so we accept each other's mistakes. I don't think anything we've done, whether it's a win or a pole has helped us gain confidence in each other.
"We've caught ourselves hanging our chins pretty low sometimes when we're on the front row and not on the pole. I guess that's a good thing in all respects. We're still happy. We're just not as happy as we thought we could have been. That's pretty much it. It's good to have that problem.
"I look at them (points) every week just like 99 percent of the other teams do. I don't think there's anything I can say about what might have been. Our time machine is broke. We can't change the past.
"There's nothing wrong with grinnin' when you're winnin'"
MATT BORLAND (Crew chief No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
"From day one, Ryan's abilities have pretty much spoke for themselves. He had confidence in me from the get-go and we've built on that since day one. It's just got better and better. Like Ryan said, when you get on a roll momentum definitely helps. It makes everything go a little smoother and makes for a better weekend.
"All the guys are motivated. They're pumped up. They've always worked hard, and they're working hard now even with all the wins. They're working just as hard if not harder. They're all as happy as can be and real motivated to do even better.
"There's been a few times we were kicking ourselves for qualifying second. I think what motivates us as a team, we want to be the best car every chance we get, and I think every other team does as well. When you strive to be the best car and you come up short a little bit, that drives you to push even harder for the next weekend.
"I don't think the points situation has changed what we've done or would do. From a numbers point of view, we've looked at it and sometimes we have nothing to lose and sometimes it's an even choice one way or the other. We try to make as many smart choices as we can. If we're points racing next year we'll be taking those same chances. Those are the ones that get you the points. You've got to take chances that make sense.
"You've always got some plans, depending on the race, for some cautions. You plan it the best way you can. Last week we were the last car on the lead lap because of a cut tire. In that case, you have nothing to lose. You might as well stay out and get track position. Worst case you have to come in with 10 laps to go and get fuel. You might come out 15th or 20th and you've still made it out with more points.
"I think it's definitely gotten more high tech than it was 10 years ago. We've got a lot of engineers on our staff. Consider all the other teams. Hendrick has probably got one of the best engineering staffs out there, DEI and all the other top teams have strong engineering programs. They're looking at the same thing we are. They're trying to get more downforce, more fuel mileage, less drag, the whole deal. We're hopefully doing a better job than the rest of them. Right now, things are going well for us. We know if we don't keep working hard things can go the other way."