RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed racing at Dover, visiting the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other topics. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE COMPETITION AT...
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 U.S. ARMY IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed racing at Dover, visiting the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other topics.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE COMPETITION AT DOVER THIS WEEKEND?: "I really look forward to it -- it's my favorite race track, it's my new favorite race track. I always said Darlington was and I've had a lot of fun here at Dover. Both during the race and after the race so I really look forward to being here and having some fun with both the U.S. Army Chevrolet and the Fastenal Chevrolet for (Dale Earnhardt) Jr."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE OF GOING TO THE WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER BEFORE THE RACE?: "It was my third trip there and every trip is a different experience because unfortunately there's different people there every time. Really an eye opening and heart-warming experience to see what's typically young men being there and fighting through their injuries. It's nice to be able to spend time and share time and hear stories and trade stories. Even if it's talking about my buddy Don Miller's amputated leg and talking about them so they can share and enlighten them on what he still does at 70 years old. It was really cool. It was my wife, Krissie's first time there so it was cool that she got to see it as well and experience it and spend some time with the soldiers. It's tough and it's not easy to sit there and talk to a 20-year old kid that was injured, potentially life-threatening and had people around him that died and tell him that everything is going to be all right. You have to and we did."
DOES IT GIVE YOU A GREATER SENSE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO CARRY THE ARMY ON THE SIDE OF YOUR CAR?: "Absolutely, it's an honor as I've said to drive the race car. You can stand at driver introductions and see all these soldiers that are wearing their uniform and then when you go to a hospital and see a soldier out of uniform that's been injured it's a different sense of honor. It's still honor, but it's a different sense of honor because as I stated last weekend several times, without these people we couldn't be here doing what we're doing right now or have the opportunity to drive the race cars or as fans, sit in the grandstands. I walk in the door saying, 'Thank you,' to those injured soldiers and I walk out the door saying, 'Thank you,' because I truly mean it."
WHAT HAS TONY STEWART DONE TO STEER YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?: "It's been really a group effort and obviously Tony (Stewart) is a part of that group. Tony Gibson, Tony Stewart, Bobby Hutchens, Matt Borland -- a lot of people have been instrumental in helping out making the U.S. Army Chevrolet faster each week and working on our pit stops, working on our race cars, working on down force and things like that. It's been a lot of fun and just want to keep the ball rolling. We were lucky and fortunate at the same time last week to finish second. If the race would have restarted we would have had to pit, but either way we've had a good string of top-fives and I would like to keep that going."
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS CURRENTLY AT WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER?: "The conditions I thought were good. I think I know kind of what you're talking about. They've got a new physical therapy center, they've got a lot of staff helping people out. The physical therapy center, which is brand new as I stated, is state-of-the-art and they've got some really neat machines in there. From what they said they're knocking out six months of rehab off of everybody's rehab based on the technology that they have there at Walter Reed. Housing-wise it's pretty nice and the physical therapy part of it, from what they do for rehab is state-of-the-art. I wasn't there five or six years ago, but just walking in, it's pretty neat."
COULD YOU SEE ANY VISIBLE THING WITH THE 88 (DALE EARNHARDT, JR.) CAR THAT WAS BEHIND?: "That would be purely speculation and I'm not here to speculate. I will tell you that it's a 'people business' and you have to work together as a group. You have to have that chemistry that creates that gel that keeps everybody together. Performance is a part of that, attitude is a part of that, ego is a part of that, your mannerisms can be a part of that. It's just part of sports in general. Every team goes through that whether they're a team within an organization or a basketball team out there fighting against another team. It's about the people and sometimes you have to make those changes -- that's the bottom line."
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GOING OVER TO IRAQ WITH THE ARMY?: "We've talked about -- we talked about it in the off-season actually. I think it was actually before I was signed up to do some of this stuff. It's just a matter of timing. It takes a day to get over there and a day to get back and there's only so many days in a week, which we have things that we go testing and do other functions. Yeah, I would be interested in doing it and would be interested in seeing it. Obviously it's not the best place to go visit. Disney World would be really cool too. Going to see the troops would be what I would be there for and it's just a matter of aligning it right in the off-season so that it can be effective and efficient for everybody. I don't want to go over there and see three people and spend a day in an airplane coming back. I would want to make it effective and efficient."
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR FIRST CAREER CUP WIN?: "Mine was rain-shortened too. That's one part of racing -- they never put in on the trophy and they put it in the record books, but the trophy is what we take home. You won the race. It doesn't say how many laps it was, it doesn't say who finished second and congratulations to him (David Reutimann) and his team. They put themselves in position and obviously a good strategy and pit call to stay out. I told (David) Reutimann after the red (flag) came out, I said, "I'm pretty mad at you right now.' He said, 'What did I do?' I said, 'You hit the wall.' If he hadn't have hit the wall, he wouldn't have stayed out on the race track. He had everything to gain and he did. It was just good timing for him and it was obviously good timing for us too. We very easily could have been in that position had it been another lap under green. We were running them down and as a victory stands -- it's a victory. When you win your first one, you want your second one that much more. It's hard to put that into words -- it doesn't make entire sense, but it's the way you feel."
-credit: gm racing