Dover II: Raybestos Rookie Newman and Johnson interview

Newman scored his first Winston Cup win in the New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. He leads the Raybestos Rookie standings by 24 points (328-304) over Johnson. Newman finished Ffurth in the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover in ...

Newman scored his first Winston Cup win in the New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. He leads the Raybestos Rookie standings by 24 points (328-304) over Johnson. Newman finished Ffurth in the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover in June.

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 12 ALLTEL/MOBIL 1 FORD:

WHY DO YOU RUN SO WELL AT DOVER?

"I like the banking. I like the fact that you have to arch the car a lot through the corner. You really have to get through the corner there versus just driving two straightaways. That's something that I grew up doing in midgets and sprint cars was carrying corner speed and I think that's something that definitely carries over to Winston Cup."

DO YOU HAVE A GOOD SENSATION OF SPEED AT THAT TRACK?

"It's a different feeling, definitely. It's one of the few tracks that has that characteristic. It's a lot of fun but it's kind of sketchy sometimes when your car is a little loose getting in. You have a hard time turning the steering wheel when you're going 170 miles per hour."

IS IT HARD TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE AT DOVER?

"It's not much different from any other track. It seems like things happen pretty quick and you hit pretty hard at that place because the speed is so great. As far as getting into trouble easier, I wouldn't say it's any easier than any other place."

CAN YOU TELL THE RACES ARE LONG?

"You can tell the races are long, but it's also physically demanding because of the banking and the speed. You pull lot of G-force and you know it at the end of the day."

HOW HARD IS IT TO PASS AT DOVER?

"It's not that difficult, typically.  The track usually opens up and has
quite a few grooves.  If your car works in one, usually it will work pretty
well in another.  That's the good characteristic of the track."

DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LOT OF HORSEPOWER AT DOVER?

"Always (smiles)."

Johnson scored his second win of the 2002 season at Dover. He officially won by .478 second over Bill Elliott. Johnson led the most laps in the race and was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie.

JIMMIE JOHNSON, LOWE'S CHEVROLET:

"I'm definitely looking forward to going back to Dover. Obviously we had a great race there. We qualified in the top-10 and won the event. I couldn't believe that we had the success that we did there. It's always been a track that I've been very fond of and have run well there in an ASA car and okay in a Busch car and to come back and win in a Winston Cup car was incredible. Hopefully we'll go in there and qualify solid and have a good pit stall and hopefully have a repeating day with the Lowe's Monte Carlo."

WHAT IS IT ABOUT DOVER THAT YOU LIKE?

"I like banked tracks especially the banked tracks with multiple grooves so you can move around and not be stuck in an aero disadvantage. You can run almost to the top of that race track, from the top to the bottom, and find a line that will work for your car. The straightaways are also probably 20 feet higher than the center of the corner. You drop off into the corners kind of like on a roller coaster. It's just a neat lap. You drop off into the turn, hustle your way around through the center of the corner and then climb back up out of the corner out on to the straightaway and it makes for a real fun lap.

HOW DIFFERENT WAS THE WIN AT DOVER VERSUS YOUR FIRST WIN AT CALIFORNIA?

"It all flew by so fast at California. When I won at Dover I was able to really soak it up and understand what was going on and what had taken place. It took a week or so after California to realize what we had done. In the closing laps of the Dover race I knew what we were about to do and what was going to be coming after that and how cool of an experience it was going to be. It was definitely different feelings between the two wins."

HOW EASY IS IT TO GET INTO TROUBLE AT DOVER?

"The speeds you are going at Dover, if something happens, it's hard to get slowed down enough to change directions and miss it. The walls on the straightaways are so narrow that if you do have something happen to you coming up off of the turn you don't have a lot of real estate on the straightaways to gather things up plus the straightaways are so banked that it's kind of a self cleaning race track and it will carry you down to the inside wall. Your margin for error there is really small."

DO YOU HAVE TO USE A LOT OF JUDGEMENT WHEN YOU TRY TO PASS AT DOVER?

"You really have to everywhere anymore. The cars are so equal and you need to analyze the car in front of you for a lap or two to find out where their weak spot is so that you can get by them as fast as you can and not lose any time to everyone else. It's pretty much that challenge every week, racing for position or getting by a lapped car."

-raybestos-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott