RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- Race Winner "It was a good team effort. We didn't get a chance to come here and test. We've been busy testing at places like Richmond and Loudon and a bunch of other tracks. A lot of guys got a chance to ...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) -- Race Winner
"It was a good team effort. We didn't get a chance to come here and test. We've been busy testing at places like Richmond and Loudon and a bunch of other tracks. A lot of guys got a chance to come here and test. It felt good to get a chance to come here and run as good as we did. Our car was awesome. The pit stops were great, and that gave us good track position, which was important. We were able to fight our way through traffic quite a few times. I don't know how many times I passed some of those lapped cars. It felt like every run we were passing them, but I guess that was a good thing.
"I really enjoy the racetrack. You can look at it and see how many grooves there are to work with, and it's just a lot of fun to drive, especially when you've got a car that was hooked up like our ALLTEL Dodge was today. You can run the bottom. You can run the top. It's a banked racetrack which I always like. It just leads to great racing, and that's all you can ask for when that's your occupation.
"It's a big step in the right direction. We can't finish 33rd and then first and then 33rd again. We've got to keep the top fives going. If we can finish in the top five in these last nine races, which was a good start today, then I can pretty much guarantee us a championship. We'll just keep working in that direction.
"I knew after the first hundred miles that we had a car that was capable of the top five for sure. After that it was just a matter of tuning on it here and there, freeing it up a little bit for late in the run. I think a lot of people were fighting with that. It was just a matter of getting the laps in. Something could have happened on the last lap that took us out even though we led a lot of laps and were a dominant racecar. Fortunately we were able to make it to the end, and we'll go into Talladega with the same mindset we came with into here. That's to try to lead the most laps, have a good qualifying effort and try to win.
"We still gained a lot of points, especially with leading the most laps and for leading a lap, which other drivers didn't do except Kenseth and Busch. I think it was about the same number last week that finished in the top 10 or top 12 or whatever it was. We just do the best we possibly can. If we don't deserve it then we don't get it.
"I can tell you for sure if they didn't have restrictor plates at Talladega we'd take our Dover car, but it's a totally different type of race, totally different strategies. We've got smaller fuel tanks to try to break up the field. Everything about Talladega is against racing. You've got out of bounds lines and things like that. We'll just go in there with an open mindset and try to do the best job we possibly can. It's going to be a unique experience I think. There's a lot of potential heat that can flame up and be fire with the points' chase and everything else at a track like Talladega where teammates (play) such an important role.
"The last five laps (time to relax). That's all it was. That long green flag run I got stuck behind the 88 car and I was a little bit tight. I think he was a little bit tight. That allowed Mark to stay about eight seconds behind us, but I ran really hard there that last run, last 65 laps with the exception of the last five for sure.
"I don't know, but I think the bottom line is everybody got in this position because they were capable of running in the top 10 and they had done it several times. If you look at the pure numbers, everybody in the top 10 going into Loudon had won at least one race and had quite a few top 10 finishes. I wouldn't expect anything different. I guess some teams put more into this. We put the same amount of effort because we try as hard as we can every lap of every race.
"I think the probability of how the season goes and how many things are out of your hands and out of your control when it comes to crashes at Talladega or getting spun out at Martinsville and places like that. Cutting a tire at places like Atlanta. That's where that stuff comes from. There's a good chance one team will have no DNF's or no bad races, no runs outside the top 10 in the last 10 races, but I guess just looking at the historical points in the series the past couple of years, usually in 10 races a team has at least one bad race.
"After what happened in the first race here (spinning out coming into pit road), I was going to feel real stupid if I did it again. I was really, really slow. I was joking when I said it, but I said it in the media center yesterday. If this race goes without any green flag pit stops we'll have a shot at the win. It turns out we had to do one, but it's definitely a tricky pit road. The veterans have a problem with it. I guess they haven't learned something.
"We ran (winning Dover Dodge) at Rockingham and Atlanta. We ran second with it at Bristol. I think the first four poles of the season, I had three of the four poles with this car. It's been a real good qualifying car. It qualified second on Friday. It's been a really good car for us. This car was actually the backup car for the car that won four of the eight races for us last year.
"The bottom line is when you can win like we did today, you don't need a pep talk. Everything takes care of itself. The guys were really pumped up going into the race today, and they're overpumped right now I'm sure. The bottom line is we've got to forget about today right now and focus on next week and the coming weekend and preparing for Talladega. At the same time, Martinsville and all the other races. You almost can't take the time to enjoy the wins when you have the schedule we do and have to focus on so many kinds of racetracks and brake packages and downforce and drag and those types of things. If you spend time celebrating, you're not spending time working.
"It's nice to have clean air. Because the corners are so fast and the straightaways are relatively short you don't get much drafting advantage. The clean air is important because you're in so much of a corner here. The good thing about Dover is you can go off line and work and try to get some clean air. When you get four or five cars lined up on the bottom and you run the bottom you lose a lot of downforce. Good pit stops and good track position was definitely a good thing. I think we had a really fast racecar and could have worked and done some passing had we fell back to fifth or sixth at some point.
"I didn't know what happened (to Matt Kenseth). I saw he hit the inside tires. I heard somebody say he was trying to get to pit road, but I never saw a replay or anything. It's a really tricky pit road, but I don't know his situation. We'll just go on. He's a friend of mine, so yes (sympathize with him) in a way, but you can't think about those things.
"I think I was a very big critiquer of the points' system through the entire season. I always spoke of it from the competitors' side because that's what I am, a competitor. I think from a marketing standpoint it's probably a good if not great strategy, but that's not everything. I don't know what the fans like and dislike. I know they like competitive racing, and it's definitely made the racing more competitive from a points' perspective, but I don't think it was fair to the competitors and we'll leave it at that.
"I can say a lot about that (pit road speeding), but the bottom line is it's not a very direct system, it's not a very concise system. You're basically relying on someone's thumb and mind hitting the right mark at the right time. Because it's timed over a short span, it could vary over three mph, the hesitation of your thumb. I wish there was a more direct or refined process to use. You can only go so fast on pit road. I know Johnson got caught there working in the first stall at the end of pit lane. From what I saw, it had to be pretty obvious because we had some awesome pit stops and he came out right behind us. I had to cut him off on pit road just to do that. I wish it was a little bit more refined.
"I didn't notice anything different today from how any driver has competed against me or each other throughout the entire season, before the chase or during the chase or last year. I don't think anybody's changed the way they drove. You can only do so much. You can only try so hard. Outside of that we become reckless. I didn't see anybody being reckless today."