RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) HOW DO YOU STACK UP FOR THE CHASE AFTER THE FIRST 3 RACES? "There's a 159-point deficit. The whole Loudon thing started us off on the wrong foot, but we corrected that at Dover. I said going in that Talladega...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
HOW DO YOU STACK UP FOR THE CHASE AFTER THE FIRST 3 RACES?
"There's a 159-point deficit. The whole Loudon thing started us off on the wrong foot, but we corrected that at Dover. I said going in that Talladega was a crap shoot. We came out of there with an OK finish, not what we wanted, but an OK finish. I think the rest of the season is all about race tracks and not about what you might get caught up in and what you might not get caught up in. It's just racing. We do the best job we can and hope everything takes care of itself points wise. I think we've got top fives at every track in the next seven, so I hope we'll be good. This has usually been our strong point of the season the past two years. We'll just do the best job we can and put 100 percent effort into it like we have all year and hopefully things will go our way."
COMMENT ON EARNHARDT JR'S FINE, DELAYED BROADCASTS
"It's pretty much common sense. There's consistency in doing what NASCAR did. The same situation has happened at least a couple of times this year with other drivers. They've maintain consistency in doing that, what they did at Talladega to Junior. To me, that's a no-brainer. The five-second deal, I think as long as we're doing what we're doing, I don't think five seconds is going to be the end of the world. I don't know everything about the broadcasting part of what we do, but I think it's probably a good thing for the sport in certain situations where people can't keep their mouth controlled. Rules are rules.
"I guess maybe in the drivers' meeting we'll have a list submitted to all the drivers as far as words you can and can't say on TV, but everybody usually knows and has common sense. I didn't even see the telecast or anything afterwards, but I think Junior realized what he said he probably shouldn't have said."
COMMENT ON MAKING CREDENTIALS FOR DAYTONA
"Today you'd have to make the hot passes to go along with it, but my dad and I used to go to Daytona all the time and realized after seeing people in the stands on Thursday what we needed for Friday, Saturday and Sunday to get in. We went to get some construction paper and basically matched the color up to what it needed to be and overlapped some paper and made it look like a credential and it usually got us in. Back seven or eight years ago, one pass usually got you whatever. It was a unique deal, but it was cool. I'm not suggesting that anybody does that."
COMMENT ON THE NEW RYAN NEWMAN BOOK
"It's cool as far as having a book and all that stuff. I guess that's part of the sport and just another way to get some information out to people, whether it's fans or people will just see it and like the way the cover looks at the book store. Deb Williams did a good job as far as portraying my career and some important parts of my career. Don Miller wrote the forward and he's been a very meaningful inspiration to my career."
COMMENT ON KANSAS RECORD
"Jeff (Gordon) and I have had a great play on numbers as far as racing here. It's been a second, second, first for me and I think first, first and fifth for him. That could change. We could be 43rd and 42nd on Sunday, but in the past it's been a good track for us. When you get it right usually you can keep it right. The cars haven't gone through much transition the last three years. This year the car has gone through a lot of transition just with cutting the spoilers off and stuff. We'll see if we can stay on par."
CAN YOU CATCH KURT BUSCH?
"Seven races left, we can gain 35 points just by leading a lap every race if the leader doesn't. We're not going to win the last seven and he's not going to finish fifth in the last seven. Somebody's going to have some problems. There's seven races to go. Like us at Michigan, we had a valve cap stuck in the tire on pit road at the start of the race. Things you never expect just pop up. I'm not racing them. I'm racing myself."
ARE YOU DRIVING DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE OF THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM?
"A lot of people think just because the point system is different this year that people race different. We still race for the win. We still race every lap to be the best we can whether it's first place or fifth place or whatever we're capable of. I don't like the fact I'm locked into the top 10. I don't think it's fair to the other drivers. From a marketing standpoint, it if works out great I'm fine, but I think there's more to our sport than marketing and the competitors should have some influence on that."
IS VICTORY LANE OVER COMMERCIALIZED?
"Over commercialized? Well, it depends on who you are.I enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but the more time we spend celebrating our victories the less time we spend figuring out what we need to do next week."
WHAT CHALLENGE DOES KANSAS SPEEDWAY PRESENT?
"Turn one is challenging, especially now because of the safety barrier, but it's just kind of a goofy little arc you have to take going into the corner. Usually it's a cookie cutter racetrack. You can adopt other things you've learned in the past at other racetracks to this racetrack."
COMMENT ON NEW SERIES SPONSOR COMPARED TO PREVIOUS ONE
"I probably wasn't around enough to answer that question. Winston did a lot for the sport, and Nextel is doing a lot now. I think in a couple of years we'll be able to analyze that a little bit better."
COMMENT ON TRIP TO NEW YORK TO PROMOTE THE CHASE
"I'm not saying this in reference to Mark (Martin), but when you're treated like a king and you're not the king, what's the point? I don't mean that in a disrespectful way to Mark, but the champion should be treated like the king. Then we'll go on. The top 10 aren't the kings."
COMMENT ON LAST ACCIDENT AT TALLADEGA
"I didn't see what happened. I think at one point Kasey got into the wall or whatever, but I'm not sure what happened. I don't know what if affected or who was behind me. I know NASCAR used its judgment not to throw the yellow in that situation and I didn't gain or lose a spot because of it. I can't really say. I haven't seen it."
COMMENT ON NOT THROWING A CAUTION
"There's a time and place for it. Cars are still going in the right direction, but they're crashing. It depends on who's driving the car. It's NASCAR's discretion. I think as long as they're going to do it that way they should be consistent and do it the same way if the same situation arises. Until the yellow light comes on you're still racing."
IS SAYING 'I'M SORRY' AFTER AN ACCIDENT ACCEPTABLE?
"It all depends on who you are. If it was an accident, it's OK. If it was on purpose then that's different. Usually if I know you and you know me we'll figure that out real quick. As a racecar driver we understand that part of it. If it's an accident, it's an accident, but if somebody does something that's on purpose that causes you to be in an accident, which is why there was so much discussion about Robby Gordon and his deal at Loudon, then it's a different story."
ARE YOU THE GUY TO BEAT HERE SUNDAY?
"Statistically and number wise, yeah, but we're not going to go into Sunday thinking we're the odds on favorite because anything can happen. We're going to go in to Sunday thinking we're going to do the best job we can with our ALLTEL Dodge."