RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus -- RAYBESTOS ROOKIE (Finished 5th) "We didn't know how we were gonna start bringing a backup car out without any laps on the race track. Those were the first laps that race car had ever run, it was brand new. ...
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus -- RAYBESTOS ROOKIE (Finished 5th)
"We didn't know how we were gonna start bringing a backup car out without any laps on the race track. Those were the first laps that race car had ever run, it was brand new. We had high expectations because we knew we were bringing out a nice piece, but, at the same time, we didn't know what it was gonna do. To come from the back and finish fifth in the ALLTEL Ford was a great feat for us today. We got caught there a lap down and got our lap back. The incident that got us our lap back took some pretty good competitors out, so we were fortunate there for a couple of reasons. We had great pit stops all day and I just raced the race track. I don't think I hit the wall once."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR PATIENCE. WAS TODAY PROOF YOU'VE GOT IT? "I think it shows, yes. There have been times where I think I've showed a lot of patience, sometimes too much, and there have been times where I've showed no patience at all. But I think every driver has a little bit of both of those inside of them. It was good to be able to come home with a brand new car without having a scratch on it. I think our plans, like Elliott, is to take this car to Texas, so this gives us both an opportunity to have a good piece with the way we built it the first time. We don't have to go back and rebuild it."
HOW DID YOU GET TO THE FRONT? "We had a team meeting before the race and we sat down and the idea was for me to try and pick off a few on the race track and then have the guys in the pits be able to pick off a few. They did an awesome job in the pits. We've been working really hard on pit stop practice back at the shop. There are times where I'll drive the car and focus on what I can do better and what they can do better and I think that's starting to show up. We started the race and the car was really loose, I mean, really, really loose. We passed a few cars and kind of just held our own. Fortunately, we had some caution flags that worked to our advantage and we were able to continuously keep working up. I think the turning point to our day was the accident on the back straightaway. I hope Tony is alright because he's a pretty good friend of mine, but that turned the race around for us. We came out of the pits in fifth and kind of held our own the rest of the day."
WAS IT EASY TO MOVE UP? "It wasn't easy by any means. There's a little bit of give and take, but not as much as you would like I guess. You work real hard and you can get a run on somebody, but as soon as you pass him he's trying to get you back. You're looking in the mirror trying to keep him behind you while you're trying to work on the guy in front of you. There are a lot of things that go on here at Darlington."