RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway and discussed the heat in the cars, coming back to Daytona as a 500 winner, his top-five picks for the Hall of Fame and more. WHAT IS THE ...
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway and discussed the heat in the cars, coming back to Daytona as a 500 winner, his top-five picks for the Hall of Fame and more.
WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEK? "We were just talking at the truck. I would just like to redo the (Daytona) 500 weekend and get a re-baseline here at Daytona. We went through so many race cars that it kind of almost doesn't count so it's kind of like our first trip to Daytona coming back to just kind of try to redeem ourselves for the cluster that we had going on in February. I look forward to it. I really enjoy the race track. It's going to be a hot one."
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE FOR EITHER HALF OF THE SEASON? "No preference. I enjoy every race the same amount and look forward to each one the same way. There's no preference whatsoever to the first half or second half. I'd say that if you have a good first half you can potentially enjoy the second for expect to enjoy the second half a little bit more. That doesn't mean you're going to just because you go back to the same tracks twice."
HOW DOES THE HEAT AFFECT YOU AND DOES IT EVER GET UNCOMFORTABLE IN THE CAR? "Yeah, I've had to get different shoes this year because I kept burning my left heel. So we basically just went through different brands of shoes and finally got some ones that I liked. When you have a hot spot it gets pretty inconvenient because you start thinking about it and you're lifting your foot up and doing different things. It changes the way you drive the car. It doesn't necessarily change your performance but it changes the way you drive the car and you don't want that to happen at all. That in conjunction with just pure dehydration and overheating. The way the cars drive it's a little bit different. It's just typically less grip but everybody is fighting the same battle."
HOW MUCH WATER WILL YOU DRINK TO GET READY FOR THIS? "I usually mix it up, kind of half water and half Gatorade because too much of each one doesn't necessarily do you the most good. I'd say I probably get 120 ounces in before the race starting 24 hours before. I'd say I probably drink maybe 30 or 40 ounces during the race through water bottles. It's hard to measure that because there is so much ice in it. Weight wise I bet I lose five pounds maybe or something like that. I typically will drink at least 120 ounces after the race and not go to the bathroom until the next morning. Your body can reabsorb pretty quick."
IS IT REAL EASY TO COME BACK IN HERE AT DAYTONA AND JUST RELIVE WINNING THAT 500 AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT? "Yeah, it's easy. It's a memory that's etched in my mind and hopefully always will be. I look forward to coming back here for more than just that but yeah its neat to come back and drive through the tunnel and know that on a given day here you beat everybody in the 50th running of the greatest race."
CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE PROSPECTS OF WHEN JEREMY MAYFIELD DOES RETURN? "I've read a couple of small things. I couldn't tell you exactly whose articles I read. The bottom line is I don't quite understand some of it. I will say that some people that don't understand motorsports, some people that don't understand sports in general and the situation that we had when somebody tests positive is something to be seriously considered and there is a lot of responsibility that goes along with that. As a federal judge when you release somebody to go back and do that without necessarily in my eyes clarifying everything that's not cool. People make mistakes. I just hope the judge didn't make one."
CARL EDWARDS SAID AFTER TALLADEGA THAT THOSE THINGS WILL KEEP HAPPENING UNLESS THERE IS A RULE CHANGE, CAN YOU ENVISION ANY KIND OF CHANGE OR DO YOU THINK SOMETHING SHOULD BE CHANGED? "I think something should have been changed with the cars getting airborne. It's relatively the same type of package where you're running the same amount of speed. The corner speeds I think dropped down a little bit more here than at Talladega. Yeah, I wish there would have been some changes or some developments technology wise with the roof flaps and keeping the cars down but I haven't heard anything and I haven't been told anything. Maybe I should have asked but I don't think that's the case. I think if we're talking about safety we should be told as well."
IS THAT SOMETHING YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO PUSH? "I am. I talked about it in Talladega. We need to do these things but I haven't heard of anything being done."
IS IT FAIR TO DRAW SOME COMPARISONS TO WHAT HE'S (TONY STEWART) DOING WITH THIS TEAM TO WHAT KULWICKI DID IN THE EARLY 90'S? "Yeah, you can draw comparisons. I mean you can compare Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough in many different ways too but in the end Tony Stewart is still Tony Stewart and Richard Petty is still Richard Petty. He's doing some great things on the race track and off to have accomplished the things that he has. I'm just glad to be a part of it."
HOW MUCH OF THE SUCCESS IS HIM (TONY STEWART)? "Behind the wheel 100 percent I can tell you that. Obviously Darian Grubb and everybody is making a difference but he's doing the right things on the race track. Aside from trying to crash his primary car to win the race in Loudon like he did in Pocono, he's pretty flawless. That's tough to do. I'd say in general I've seen a lot fewer accidents this year than in the past. He's done a great job. He's also responsible for a lot the people that are in the positions that they are at Stewart-Haas Racing. He's not 100 percent, maybe 40 percent. I could throw a number out there but that's my answer."
IS THERE ANY CONCERN FOR YOU BEING OUT ON THE TRACK WITH JEREMY MAYFIELD WHEN HE RETURNS? "I would say that if my car was starting next to his I would wonder about the first lap. If I was in a position where I was racing him I would potentially question that judgment but I don't know how to actually do that until that happens. Race car drivers drive by the seat of their pants and you don't think about things may happen, you think about things as they are going to happen I guess you could say."
HAVE YOU BEEN TESTED RECENTLY? "Not the last few weeks, no."
SINCE MAYFIELD FILED SUIT? "I was in Phoenix whenever that was so I guess it was before him."
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HOT IT GETS INSIDE THE CAR ESPECIALLY DURING THESE DAYTIME PRACTICES? "We've got data. It's around 130 degrees. The pedal is usually around 120 degrees and they run a little bit cooler than the air does. It's plenty hot. Above my head is a little cooler just because there's a little bit more air flow, but down around the engine and the foot box it's typically like 140 degrees. That's a lot of race tracks even when it's cool outside. The teams put a lot of effort and emphasis on moving the air because that helps keep you cool. It's just like the little fan that you do to keep your face cool."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS AND WHO YOU THINK HONESTLY FROM THE HEART WHO YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IN THE FIRST CLASS OF THE HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS? "Big Bill France I guess is going to be number one. I'd say Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty. I think you would have to throw in a Wood Brother's there some place. Either Pearson or Allison. It's all in how you kind of look at it. Of course, Waltrip would say he's number one (laughter)."
IS THERE ONE THAT PARTICULARLY STANDS OUT IN YOUR MIND? "I sat in the grandstands when Earnhardt won his first Daytona 500 and that was really awesome to see all the crew members and people that came to pit road and he shook pretty much everybody's hand before he did his first donut. That says a lot about the sport and that says a lot about him so that to me is one the best memories in all of racing. The most respect that a driver could ever earn is to see a situation like that after you've been beat to go congratulate the winner. That says a lot in itself."
-credit: gm racing