RYAN NEWMAN in the No.12 Alltel Ford posted the fastest lap of any RaybestosÂ® Rookie contender during Friday's practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newman's best lap was 49.883 seconds, 180.422 mph which placed him sixth ...
RYAN NEWMAN in the No.12 Alltel Ford posted the fastest lap of any Raybestos® Rookie contender during Friday's practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newman's best lap was 49.883 seconds, 180.422 mph which placed him sixth Overall.
"The track is really weather sensitive here at Indy. It's good to come out of the box as strong as we were. We have a good car in the Alltel Ford this weekend. It will be interesting to see what difference in the racetrack is between practice this afternoon and qualifying tomorrow morning. Last year we were the fastest car on the first day and qualified fifth overall and had a shot at the pole. Hopefully we can do a little bit better than that."
HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO IMPROVE TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN THE POLE?
"We'll see when it comes time. It's going to be a factor of what the racetrack is like. We're going out second to last tomorrow and that's going to be difficult for us. It's just something that we're going to have to deal with. Maybe we can get some clouds rolling or something about noon."
HOW BIG IS RACING AT INDY TO YOU?
"It's big. It's an awesome racetrack and not just because I'm from Indiana but because it's the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You look at the glass behind us and you've got Gordon Johncock, Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, everybody. The names around this racetrack are just awesome."
YOU ARE A NATIVE HOOSIER.
"I went to school at Purdue and grew up in South Bend. It's a lot of history for me and Indianapolis racing here in the Midwest with USAC and a lot of fun. I guess I'm not the only one."
WHY DID YOU GET YOUR DEGREE AND WHY WAS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
"It never hurts to be edumacated (laughs). It's important from a driver's standpoint and also from a personal standpoint and that's why I did it."
SOME VETERAN DRIVERS HAVE SAID THAT SOME OF THE YOUNGER DRIVERS ARE DOING WELL BUT TAKING BIG RISKS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RISKS?
"I'm guessing what they are taking about is just the way we drive the car and the setups and things like that. It's not a risk, I guess if it works (laughs). Overall, we've all been doing well. I think everybody in NASCAR has had a pretty much up and down season and everybody has had some sort of spotlight."
WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP FOR YOUR TEAM?
"Winning a race, I guess. That's what we're here to do every weekend and we haven't done that yet for a points race. I guess that would be the natural step."
HOW GREAT WOULD IT BE TO GET THAT FIRST WIN HERE?
"It would be really great. It would make a difference but it wouldn't much matter really to me. To win any place in Winston Cup is always special."
MATT BORLAND, Crew Chief for the No. 12 Alltel Ford.
YOUR HAD A GOOD TEST HERE A FEW WEEKS AGO AND BACKED IT UP IN PRACTICE TODAY.
"We're pretty happy with the car. Ryan is real happy. We think we should have a good run tomorrow, hopefully, and a real good run on Sunday."
IS YOUR QUALIFYING DRAW GOING TO HURT YOU?
"If the weather is normal, it will hurt us but hopefully we can still make out all right with it. Going out late in the day is going to be pretty tough. It just depends. If at 10 o'clock, if it's already really hot then we will be in good shape but if it's cool in the morning and gets hot in the afternoon, then we'll be in trouble."