RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 2nd) "I guess it was just kind of a textbook Darlington race. The guys that stayed out front and kept it off the wall were the guys that got to stay there through the end of the race. We had a couple...
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"I guess it was just kind of a textbook Darlington race. The guys that stayed out front and kept it off the wall were the guys that got to stay there through the end of the race. We had a couple problems there in the pits with the 99 car and the 48, just not having enough room to get stopped in there right so we could get out right and that cost us track position a couple of times, but the guys did an awesome job in the pits. Once the 99 had his problems, that opened us up to get some track position. I think we came in sixth and went out second that one time and that was all it took to get us in position to have a shot at the win. Overall, it was a good run for the ALLTEL Ford. To not get to qualify, that was something we were looking forward to, but getting to practice and that stuff was pretty much a blessing for us because we got the chance to fine-tune on the car a little bit and that gave us a good shot at today."
HOW DID TRACK CONDITIONS CHANGE?
"This was probably the first time all year we've had the same track conditions at the start of the race as we had in practice. It just kept on raining and the track was just getting dry and the temperature conditions were about the same. It was overcast, and that's pretty odd for us. Usually, we practice until noon on Saturday and race Sunday afternoon, so that was one thing that was different. The good thing was everything was pretty much the same for us. The track changed a little bit I think when the sun popped in and out, but, overall, it was just a matter of managing your tires. That was the biggest thing today."
HAS THE TEMPO INCREASED THE LAST THIRD OF THE SEASON FOR EVERYONE?
"In my opinion, no. There might be some people, but they're not gonna be contenders for the championship. If they were not up to par before this part of the season, then they're not in contention for the championship. So, I think overall, if you look at somebody like Jeff, he's been close and he's had his struggles -- so have we -- but, nevertheless, we try as hard as we can each day and each time we're on the race track."
TALK ABOUT BEING SUCCESSFUL AT DARLINGTON WITH ONLY A COUPLE RACES UNDER YOUR BELT.
"Not to be smart, but I guess some people are wrong. You don't necessarily have to have experience, you have to know how to drive the race track, whether you watch it on TV or talk to teammates and other people like that. You can learn certain things and that may enable you to keep it off the wall for 500 miles and that's what's important. Like I've said before all season, I'm a rookie race car driver but I've been driving cars for 20 years."