RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed winning the All-Star race, the past two races, the tire issues at Indy and much more. TALK ABOUT YOUR GOOD RUNS IN THE LAST TWO RACES....
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed winning the All-Star race, the past two races, the tire issues at Indy and much more.
TALK ABOUT YOUR GOOD RUNS IN THE LAST TWO RACES. "The guys have done a great job obviously. Richmond was a great race for us. We just got caught up in that one race start.
We had no excuse not to win the race we just got caught up in the restart. The guys have been having fun really. Talladega was a crap shoot we all know that but for me to have two-top five's in a row that was I think the first time since the end of '07. That was probably the biggest thing that put a smile on my face, to lead laps and run good. That was nice but to get the result two times in a row, that's what we're shooting for."
IN 2002 YOU WON THE ALL-STAR RACE AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY, TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ALL-STAR WIN AND GOING BACK TO LOWE'S FOR THAT RACE NEXT WEEK. "Until I won the Daytona 500 it was my greatest win I thought as a person and as a team. What we did and what we achieved that night it's all for the glory. Obviously there's some money on the line but you're in your own back yard and you're in everybody's back yard. When you win on the home field and it's the race that's the All-Star race it meant a lot to me. We weren't even expected to be in it and that's why it was even sweater yet because we had to race our way in. It was a great night of racing and nice to be able to win it because it got me in it this year."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO NEXT WEEK? "There is a different strategy I think this year with the race itself because there's no inversion. I'm not sure if it was that way or not last year I don't remember exactly but either way there's no inversions. Everybody is always going to be racing forward. There's going to be nobody racing backwards and that's what racing is all about. To add that 10-lap sprint at the end, that's pretty cool. It may be a really long 10 laps or it may be a really short 10 laps. It all depends on how that restart goes."
YOU COULD HAVE WON THE LAST TWO RACES AT TALLADEGA AND RICHMOND EASILY, IS THE WAY YOUR TEAM IS RUNNING RIGHT NOW SURPRISING YOU? "In my gut I knew we had the potential and I felt that we had the equipment. You put the two things together it just takes time to get the results. We had some good runs at the beginning of the season we just had a couple of things that really knocked us out of the lead lap. We had a couple of loose wheels in different races and things like that. Once those things happen you're kind of forgotten in that race. You could be running top-seven all day and you're no longer known. Everything is kind of clicking. Tony Gibson is doing a good job and obviously the No. 14 with Tony (Stewart) and Darian (Grubb) are doing a great job. With the association with Hendrick Motorsports I think with each race that situation has gotten a little stronger. I'm just happy to be in the position I'm in.
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING BACK OUT THERE ON A RUBBERLESS TRACK THIS WEEKEND? "It's going to be interesting. I don't know how much rubber it will rinse off but man I spun the Nationwide car out before I ever came to the start-finish line at 8:30 this morning. I don't think it's going to be like that but the guy that goes out first to qualify the Nationwide car if you had to ask him that question I'm sure he wouldn't be entirely enthused about it. We don't go out first. I think we go out 15th or something like that. It will be interesting if it happens.
"The track was really full of sand. I mean there was a ton of sand on the race track. It's the first time I've ever really seen it here. Last year the asphalt was so new there wasn't a chance for the sand to blow up onto it. For the last eight years I've been here it was just part of it. The sand was always in the race track. It was unique I think for me the first time here after what happened last year."
THE INDY RACE SURFACE HAS GROOVED UP THERE AND PRESENTED SOME PROBLEMS I GUESS, IF YOU WERE AN ENGINEER WHAT WOULD YOU DO UP THERE? "Yeah, I mean it's a tough situation. There's two things. There's the Goodyear tires and there's the surface itself and both of them can point fingers all day long but the bottom line is it's a big race for us. We have to go up there and put on a good show. The situation the last test there we started off cording tires in about the same amount of laps and by the end of the day we were not wearing the tires out they were blistering. So there was a sense of improvement all though the final result wasn't there. So I know Goodyear has some tests scheduled to go back. I think there's still a happy medium in finding the left side and right side tire combinations so we're not blistering the rights or cording the rights. We're still not optimized I feel as far as the left side tires themselves. I think that eventually we'll get it but that surface is so abrasive it's hard to find that happy medium. It's been tough."
I ASKED YOU A FEW WEEKS AGO IN PHOENIX WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOUR OUTLOOK WAS FOR MAKING THE CHASE THIS YEAR, YOU WEREN'T REAL COMMITTED AT THAT TIME, ANY CHANGE IN THAT ATTITUDE NOW? "I don't remember talking to you about it point blank. I felt at the beginning of the season going into Daytona that we had the potential to do it and the opportunity to do it and for sure the equipment to do it. It's still a long ways out. There's a lot of things that can happen. Anybody that's in the Chase right now, if they're that confident then let them be."
HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF ANYTHING ELSE IN REGARDS TO TALLADEGA THAT CAN BE DONE? "I haven't talked to NASCAR and I haven't been asked by NASCAR about any part of that. I still feel that the biggest thing is to keep the race cars down on the race track. If Carl's (Edwards) car wouldn't have got airborne, whether it was coming back down or not if wouldn't have got airborne it would have never got launched up into the catch fence. That to me is the primary objective is to keep the race cars down on the race track. The speeds, the crash that's been a coin toss for the last 20 years or so. We can talk about that until we are blue in the face. Physics doesn't allow a whole lot of that to change but keeping the race cars on the race track is something that we need to spend time on as teams or from NASCAR's standpoint so we can have safer races for ourselves and for our fans.
-credit: gm racing