RYAN NEWMAN-12-ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 5th) HOW WAS YOUR RUN? "Well, it was pretty good. It was in the heat of the day, so to speak, but I think it was pretty hot from the time the first green flag dropped all the way through. It probably...
RYAN NEWMAN-12-ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 5th)
HOW WAS YOUR RUN?
"Well, it was pretty good. It was in the heat of the day, so to speak, but I think it was pretty hot from the time the first green flag dropped all the way through. It probably made a little bit of a difference, but, overall, the run was pretty good for the ALLTEL Ford. I got though one and two pretty good, I felt, but I overcooked turn three a little bit just trying to push it too hard. That cost us a little bit, but to still get a top-five run out of it, that's not bad at all."
WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO THIS AFTERNOON?
"I don't know. I was thinking about one thing, though, if you were Million Dollar Bill in 1985, shouldn't it be like Billion Dollar Bill in 2005?"
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS TRACK AND IF YOU'VE FIGURED IT OUT?
"Well, somebody once told me that with this race track having four corners when your car is good, it's good for four corners and when your car is bad, it's bad for eight corners. That's what makes it so tough sometimes. As we all know, we work to get the car balanced as the temperature changes, as the track changes, as the run goes through. The track goes through a lot of changes and the car goes through a lot of changes and you've just got to keep adapting your driving style. With the track being as flat as it -- the aero-push, the traffic and things like that -- you can get out front and run really fast. But if you get back 10th-12th in line, you've got 12 cars pushing air in front of you and it gets really difficult. That was one of the biggest things last year is there's a lot of give-and-take here and I didn't give as much as I should have on Jimmy Spencer there going into three and I got a little tap in the left-rear corner that ended our day. So it's just something to think about in my mind going into this race is just to give-and-take and be patient."
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE OLDER GUYS AND THE RESPECT YOU HAVE FOR THEM?
"I guess the key word, like you said, is jsut respect. It's just like Bill said, he's been here for so long -- he's had his career -- but he's still enjoying his career and still doing well at it and performing well. There are a lot of things that a young driver can learn from an old driver and I guess that's one of the good things about having a teammate like Rusty Wallace is you can talk to him and understand what to expect, not only from the race car but from people like you and the fans and everything else -- to be able to be a better race car driver. It's not always about competing on the race track with the veteran drivers, it's learning from them too."
HOW DO CHANGES LIKE RICKY RUDD'S SITUATION AFFECT THE TEAM'S FOCUS?
"I don't personally know because I've never been in that situation before, but I can definitely tell you that it makes things tougher. That's something that complicates a season, especially when you're going for a championship. Some people can probably deal with it better than other, obviously, but, overall, it's something that's not gonna sit well on your mind when it comes to getting up on Monday morning after a race and figuring out if the guys are gonna be happy with you come next weekend because you're not racing for them next year. I can just imagine how tough it would be, but I can't really say outside of that."
WHAT THINGS HAVE HELPED YOU THE MOST TO BE CONSISTENT THIS YEAR?
"I think one of the biggest things is our team has learned a lot -- the ALLTEL guys. I think a little bit at the start of the season people were confused with just the old number switch and us being the 12 car versus what the 12 car team used to be. The team that I'm with on the 12 car now is the team that was together, basically, for the last two and a half years. We've learned a lot this year and they are pretty much the determining factor of what's made us as good as we are. The engineering department is awesome. We've learned so much and being able to adapt so much to the future as far as what we've learned from the past and that's important for me as a rookie to come into a rookie season and at least have a good idea that they know what to prepare for and what things to do with a race car to make it fast. That shows up at times like today."