Newman Looking to Stay in Chase Hunt with Another Solid Finish DOVER, Del (Sept. 22, 2009) -- There's still a ways to go before the 12 Chase drivers can say it's now like the back nine on Sunday at the Masters -- a phrase commonly used for the...
Newman Looking to Stay in Chase Hunt with Another Solid Finish
DOVER, Del (Sept. 22, 2009) -- There's still a ways to go before the 12 Chase drivers can say it's now like the back nine on Sunday at the Masters -- a phrase commonly used for the down-the-stretch finish at the season's first major golf tournament.
But with nine of the 10 Chase races remaining, Ryan Newman and the No. 39 U.S. Army/Haas Automation team are feeling upbeat, which is based on their solid start in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup along with the site of the second event in the championship format.
Newman finished seventh Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the opening round of the Chase. He enters this Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in seventh place in the championship standings, 79 points behind leader Mark Martin.
"We're in the hunt and that's where you want to be early in the competition," said Newman. "You want to remain consistent and not dig yourself into a deep hole. You always hear drivers say that you can lose the championship in the first couple of races, but not win it. That's why I was pleased with our start in New Hampshire. Maybe the finish could have been a little better, but overall, it was a nice way to kick off the Chase in the Soldiers' car."
What has Newman excited about this weekend's race is that he is going to Dover, one of his favorite, if not his favorite track on the NASCAR circuit.
"It's a lot of fun to drive there, I really like the banking," said Newman about the all-concrete Dover track. "Dover ranks right up there as one of my favorite places to race. Once you get a race car right there, it usually stays right all day."
Newman knows exactly how the car should feel at Dover. In 15 career starts at the Monster Mile he has notched three wins, six top fives, nine top 10s and four poles. He finished eighth in Dover's June race in his Army/Haas Automation Chevy Impala SS.
His Dover statistics also include: 8.53 average start, 10.33 average finish and 813 laps led.
"We had a shot at winning the race in June," recalled Newman. "So we feel that we should have a pretty good handle with the car setup. What hurt us in New Hampshire was our starting position (18th). We're going to need to be better than that in Dover. I enjoy qualifying at Dover -- it's fast and I like the challenge of dropping off into the corners and the way it pushes you down in the seat when you're coming off the turns."