Chicagoland: Ryan Newman press conference

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Captures Third Victory of 2003; Fourth Career Triumph in 62nd start. Third Win of Season for Dodge. "It's kind of hard to believe we qualified 14th for our team. It was kind of a disappointment, but...

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Captures Third Victory of 2003; Fourth Career Triumph in 62nd start. Third Win of Season for Dodge.

"It's kind of hard to believe we qualified 14th for our team. It was kind of a disappointment, but at the same time we were still 14th and had a good car to work with. In Happy Hour yesterday, we were first and then second, so we knew we had a good piece for the race. It was just a matter of pit strategy and track position and everything else that goes along with that, primarily clean air. The guys did an awesome job in the pits. Matt (crew chief Borland) obviously made the right calls keeping the car good. We had to tune it a little bit and chase the track a little bit, but as far as the track goes it was awesome today in my opinion, not just because I won. There were multi grooves, you could race and you could pass, you could run side by side even. It was a good race. That's more than we can say for some of the ones on the circuit."

"We just had a good piece to work with. The track position, strategy, fuel mileage, having a Dodge, a lot of things (went toward our success today.) I'm just happy to be able to win for everybody at Penske. I was saying earlier, the guys back in the shop lay the foundation for what we do as far as building the house on the weekend. We came here and got it all up in one weekend today."

"You can't rely on the horsepower down the straightaways. You've got to be good in the corners. That was the best we could get it as far as our ability to race in the corners."

"He (Harvick) didn't win on fuel mileage last year. He spun out and came in and got tires and got himself off cycle which gave him track position. We didn't strive for fuel mileage today. We strove for balance in the car the best we could and at the same time hoping our fuel mileage windows were right. Matt and Michael Nelson do an awesome job doing the math and getting us in the right position at the right time."

"I don't know what our fuel mileage even was, let alone their (Harvick's) fuel mileage. It could have been them not getting the car full of fuel. It could have been us having better fuel mileage. I'm not sure."

"You've got to have everything in the equation to be able to sit where I am right now. You can't just have a good racecar or good pit stops or a good engine or whatever. You've got to have it all. Last year we had it all. We just didn't put it together at the end. This year, fortunately, we were able to put it all together for the end."

"If you go to a race track where the groove is just as fast up high as it is on the bottom, then it doesn't matter. At Rockingham, you can go up high or down low and be just as fast. You can have clean air in both. Kevin on that last restart stuck his nose out on the outside of me. He had clean air and couldn't make the pass. What I'm getting at is this racetrack the fastest line is on the bottom in my opinion. The fastest line for my car was on the bottom. Guys could have set up their cars to run up top and would have been just as fast, but you get a racetrack that's just as fast on the top as the bottom, you don't have to worry about that (clean air). Even Kevin when he was behind me, he was still trying to run my line. If he had tried to move up, he might have been a little bit faster in the clean air. As long as these cars are making downforce, we're going to be talking about this for the rest of Winston Cup or whatever history. At Martinsville you can feel the air. It's kind of wild, but track position is huge. You get out front and your car before that could have felt a little loose or a little tight. In clean air it really sticks and takes an extra five or 10 laps for your problems to arise."

"It doesn't matter to me what track we race at. We've done well at the 1.5-mile tracks, especially the semi-banked ones. We're going to take the momentum and go somewhere with it. Hopefully we'll use it right. I look forward to going back to Loudon, even though they did change the racetrack some. I'm sure we'll be competitive there. We have good racecars at Penske Racing and we'll attack it that way. I don't think there's any coincidence with the racetracks. We finished second last year at Watkins Glen."

"I think regardless we could have stayed up front (with or without caution flags). We were in clean air and we were holding our own with Kevin. I was kind of pacing myself, keeping my distance without trying to abuse my racecar. Coulda, woulda, shoulda for Tony. It's just a situation where he wasn't in the right place at the right time. Obviously he had a fast racecar, but you've got to be in the right place at the right time."

"You guys have got to have something to talk about when it comes to bumps because when you come to a racetrack that's this smooth one little bump is what everybody talks about. It's a miniscule bump. They're there. They make a difference when you're running 180 mph. When you're running 75 down the highway, you'd never notice those kind of bumps. They felt like they were a little better in turn three this year and a little worse in turn one. Some of that could have been I noticed there were a lot of skid marks on the track from cars bottoming out. It could be a situation where the cars were magnifying the bumps from just hitting the track, not the old harsh Midwest winners. We had it good enough."

"A racetrack never owes you one. You can say that, but it never owes you one. You earn what you get."

"There's totally different aspects when it comes to a racetrack like Martinsville or Watkins Glen or Daytona or Michigan. You've got tractor forces involved at places like Martinsville that you don't really have here. You've got aero forces here that you don't really have at Martinsville. You've got drag here and Daytona but you don't have at Martinsville. You've got to understand a little of everything. Either the driver or the crew chief or somebody's got to be able to work together and build a package that works for that racecar. I don't think there's any coincidence."

"Sometimes you're trying to gain position, so you're doing a two-tire stop. That might put you out for the last stop when you need four tires and everybody else can take two. On one hand, you've got to work from the checkered flag back, but on the other hand, you're forced to put fuel in the car, you're forced to put tires on the car just for the safety standpoint. It's kind of hard to make what you want to work actually work for getting to the checkered flag at the right time."

"That's pretty much it (either end up in the care center or victory lane). We've had great racecars all year with the exception of maybe one or two races I could say. Everybody at Penske, Matt and everybody has done a great job building a straight arrow so that I can shoot it straight. We've just been caught up in some goofy things. We've had some things happen ourselves that never should have happened, like breaking a gear at Richmond. That never should have happened. It's just something that's a part failure, but it can be omitted. There are instances of blown tires and whatever that's just part of racing bad luck as they say. It's just an excuse."

"It's a little bit special, (winning close to home) but thank God that NASCAR is big enough that what you guys are writing will show up in the south, too."

"No. I know Kevin. He runs really hard. With three laps to go or two laps to go there was no way he was going to make up 10 cars lengths and be able to get around me unless something huge happened."

"The only time we had to change what we thought we were going to do is when the 4 car blew a tire in three and four. We hit a whole bunch of debris, so that time we decided to take four tires just in case we had cut one. We didn't necessarily need four tires. Other than that, it was kind of go with the flow track position calls."

"It's always frustrating. Every guy in this guy will tell you at some point it's frustrating, but so is life. You'll get frustrated driving in traffic on the way home after you've had a good day at the office."

"I wouldn't necessarily say I feel like it (carrying the load for Dodge). It appears as though we are. We're doing the best job we can. Rusty is doing the best job he can and so is everybody at Ganassi and Evernham and stuff like that. I'm not going to sit up here and say this guy has got a favorite and that one doesn't and everything else as far as bodies go. I'm just happy to be in the position we are, and this says a little bit about our team, to be the only Dodge team winning."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman
Teams Team Penske