Ryan Newman in the no.12 Alltel Ford was the RaybestosÂ® Rookie of the Race in the Brickyard 400. "That's four top-fives in a row and that says a lot about our rookie team. The guys are doing an awesome job. Our pit stops were a little up and...
Ryan Newman in the no.12 Alltel Ford was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Brickyard 400.
"That's four top-fives in a row and that says a lot about our rookie team. The guys are doing an awesome job. Our pit stops were a little up and down. Strategy was so hectic. Guys were taking fuel only which is unheard of here at Indy. It was a good run all day for us. I'm happy to get that top-five. We battled back pretty hard there at the end. We put four tires on and it hurt for track position a little bit. We had a really good car and we're happy to finish in the top-five. That's four top fives in a row for us you can't as for much more than that from the Alltel crew. We kept chasing the balance. We were tight all day. Every run we were tight, tight, tight. We kept working with it and working with it and it was a matter of time before we got track position back. There at the end we might have been one of the fastest cars but that 9 Dodge (race winner Bill Elliott) was awfully strong."
DID THE LAST RESTART WORK TO YOUR ADVANTAGE?
"That was just luck of the draw. We wouldn't have got by (Kevin) Harvick or the 20 car (Tony Stewart) had the yellow not come out. That bunches things back up and I'm happy to get the opportunity to get a couple of spots. We could have lost a couple of spots just as easily.
IT MUST BE NICE TO DO WELL IN FRONT OF YOUR HOME FANS.
"That's really cool, I mean, it's Indiana. An Indiana boy didn't win this time but we tried our hardest. It's really good. Like I said, it's four top-fives in a row for a rookie team and that's awesome. Overall, we've just got to keep knocking them out. We go to our second road course of the year and the first one for me at Watkins Glen. We've got to do the same thing there."
HOW DID YOU COPE WITH THE HEAT?
My crew chief finally gave me a cool box and my head stayed cool all day. I got a little hot there a couple of times there with the 41 (Jimmy Spencer) car but overall it was a good day."
DID YOU HAVE TO CHASE THE TRACK A LOT TODAY?
"I don't think so. I think we were a little farther off than we anticipated at the start. We were tight all day. We were trying to gauge off yesterday's practice because the second one (practice session) it cooled off so, so much. We were just trying to get the car to handle a little better."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, FINISHED NINTH.
"Man, to finish where we did with all the trouble we had fought. I've got to take some credit for it. I just don't know my way around here, but we still had a pretty wicked car in qualifying trim and then when we got into race trim we started making gains on it. I got more familiar with the track and was able to give Chad (Knaus, his crew chief) the information that he needed to adjust the car for me. We knew something was wrong but we didn't know how to fix it. Once I got in the rhythm in 'Happy Hour' we sat on it last night and the guys did an incredible job. Chad did an incredible job getting a car that I could drive and our guys on pit road showed up today. They nailed some 13-second stops, got us some great track position, and we were able to hold our own when we were there so it was really good."
WHY DID YOUR CAR IMPROVE DURING THE RACE?
"In 'Happy Hour' we saw a direction where we needed to go. We started a lot closer this morning and we were able to fine tune from there and just kept picking our way up through there."
WAS THE HOT WEATHER A FACTOR?
"It was hot. I just tried to keep breathing and guys do a good job of keeping air moving into the car to me and stuff. Actually, I don't feel all that bad. I knew it was hot, especially under cautions when you slow down but other than that it was fine."
INDY IS A HARD PLACE TO PASS, BUT YOU CAME FROM THE BACK OF THE FIELD TO FINISH IN THE TOP-10.
"It still was a hard place to pass. I've never been so frustrated in my life. You're a second faster than the guy in front of you and you can't pass him. Then you're trying to pass him and the cars behind you close up and pass you and you just passed all those guys. It is so frustrating to pass, but shoot, we did it. I guess we can't complain too much; we made it to ninth."