Newman Busting with Army Pride for Memorial Day Weekend Race CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 25, 2010) -- As Ryan Newman inches closer to a position in the Chase, the U.S. Army driver is looking to make a strong statement in this weekend's Sprint Cup race...
Newman Busting with Army Pride for Memorial Day Weekend Race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 25, 2010) -- As Ryan Newman inches closer to a position in the Chase, the U.S. Army driver is looking to make a strong statement in this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 event, a Memorial Day weekend tradition, will carry even more Army pride for the No. 39 team out of the Stewart-Haas Racing stable.
"Driving the U.S. Army Chevrolet on Memorial Day weekend is a humbling honor to represent our Army Strong Soldiers -- past, present and future," said Newman. "We all need to take a deep breath and observe the true meaning of Memorial Day which is to reflect and remember our fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the continuing fight for freedom. It would be pretty cool to drive the Soldiers' car to Victory Lane on this special weekend of remembrance."
Newman almost got to experience that "cool" feeling in last year's Coca-Cola 600 as he finished runner-up in the rain-shortened race. He also started the 600 miler from the pole last year, the eighth time he qualified No. 1 at Charlotte.
"We need to improve one position from last year's race and it will be a super weekend," stated Newman. "As is the case with many of the drivers, Charlotte Motor Speedway ranks high on the list as one of the favorite tracks. This is home for many of us and this is where we want to shine."
Newman's history at Charlotte has indeed been shinier rather than dull. Along with his eight poles in 18 starts at the 1.5-mile oval, he has garnered four top-fives and six top-10s.
Newman will be looking to continue his forward charge in driver points. After 12 races he is currently 13th in the standings, only 34 points from a Chase spot. The 12-driver Chase is determined with points earned in the first 26 races of the season.
"There's still a long way to go, but for us we want to get there soon (Chase position) and stay there," said Newman. "We've had some good runs lately, but still need to step it up a few notches. There's a number of good drivers not in the Chase right now and that goes to show you how deep and competitive the field is this year.
Newman has been steadily climbing in points. After the first six races he was 22nd in points with a finishing average of 20.83. His performances in the last six races moved him to 13th with a finishing average of 12.83.
"We're doing what we need to do and that is to trend in the right direction," noted Newman. "We just need to stay focused and never get satisfied. Our goal is to win every weekend and make our Soldiers proud of their race team."
Newman will also compete in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Charlotte, driving the No. 1 Chevy for Phoenix Racing. It's the same team he finished runner-up with in Dover's Nationwide race on May 15.