Las Vegas: Pole winner interview

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Mobil 1/ALLTEL Dodge Charger) Pole winner. 28th career pole, first at LVMS. NOTE: This is the first pole for a Dodge Charger since Richard Petty won the No. 1 starting spot at Ontario Speedway on Nov. 18, 1977. "We're ...

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Mobil 1/ALLTEL Dodge Charger)
Pole winner. 28th career pole, first at LVMS.

NOTE: This is the first pole for a Dodge Charger since Richard Petty won the No. 1 starting spot at Ontario Speedway on Nov. 18, 1977.

"We're really happy. We unloaded really fast with our ALLTEL/Mobil 1 Dodge Charger. It felt like we had a car capable of the pole right off the truck. I don't think we had an advantage by any means going out when we did with the track cooling off, especially in turns one and two. Never the less we were able to pull it off. I was really worried about Greg Biffle going out later and was P2 in practice, but I'm happy to get my first pole at Las Vegas for sure."

COMMENT ON THURSDAY TRIP TO HOOVER DAM

"Hoover Dam was cool. The most astonishing part of it to me was how in 1931 they did what they did with the technology they had then. People say it's an engineering marvel and it is, but they didn't have much engineering back then. It was all about horses and buggies and cables and manpower. It's really cool to think about if you could put yourself back 70 years ago what it would be like.

"It was more of a sightseeing trip. Obviously we have engineering minds, but like I told Matt (crew chief Borland) afterwards, it's maybe not a big deal today but 40 years from now we can say we did it and nobody else had the opportunity to because it is an off-limit environment now. It was through the speedway and NASCAR. They were looking for somebody to do it and knew we were interested because of the coolness of it."

ANY OTHER MEMORABLE TRIPS BEFORE RACES?

"I got to fly an F-16 fighter last fall out of Luke AFB. We got to do a refueling mission on a KC-135. We got to basically lay in the back of the plane and watch 'em refuel F-16s in midair."

COMMENT ON DIFFERENT QUALIFYING SCHEDULES

"I think NASCAR is trying to figure out what they're doing (with qualifying procedures) and trying to be consistent. I guess they gave the officials the day off on Saturday (next week in Atlanta), so we'll take the day off, too. Actually I'm going to go fishing."

COMMENT ON FIRST TWO RACES

"We've had a car for the first two races that was capable of winning the races in my opinion. I feel pretty confident going into the next five or six that we'll have a top-five car. There are a lot of changes this year with the new aero package, the new Dodge Charger, the new tires. We're kinda restarting at zero.

"I think the aero change is probably the biggest for everybody. That's for sure taken some downforce off the cars and made the cars looser, but I think you'll still see the same teams performing like they've been in the past and making up the top 10 in the points. We brought the same racecar from California to here. From a consistency standpoint we felt we were a good car in the corners there. I think we can do the same thing here considering this track is almost all corners, so that's pretty much it. The aero package is different. We've got a different situation with pit road and the way it's being managed. I think it's good for the sport."

COMMENT ON DODGE CHARGER

"People keep talking about the new Dodge Charger and how it's more susceptible to trash and everything else. I think the ideal situation is to get the trash off the racetrack and then we can just go out and race. Trash got on the grille in California, and we had to come in and went a lap down and had to fight back."

COMMENT ON A BALANCED CAR

"It's got nothing to do with the tires. It's all about the aero package. I like a car that's balanced perfectly. No driver likes a loose racecar and no driver likes a tight racecar. They can go fast with it, but a perfectly balanced car is the ideal. The ideal car is four tenths of a second faster than everybody else when you hang it out and when you slow down it's still two tenths of a second faster and you don't have to go out of control to do it.

"We had a really good car at Loudon and Dover last year, and at Darlington we had a perfect racecar. We blew an engine at Darlington. We had a hose clamp break at Loudon and won at Dover."

COMMENT ON DIFFERENT TRACKS

"I like mountains, but I don't like these kind of mountains. I'm not a big fan of a lot of traffic and a lot of people. I'd rather be in a fishing boat relaxing or driving an old hot rod. I like Michigan and Pocono. That's more my style. I'm a little more rustic. Watkins Glen is cool."

COMMENT ON MEXICO RACE

"I only watched part of the race (Busch race in Mexico). Most of it was under caution, so I went out on the boat and went fishing at Lake Norman. I think we need to touch people in the United States before we go to Mexico. The Pacific Northwest for sure. We hit the Northeast twice, but we could go to the upper Midwest, maybe North Dakota. There's still a lot of people in Montana even though it's way up there. Call it the way you want to call it, but people within our own country that still don't get a chance to see it because of the location. I think we need to take care of the United States before we take care of anything else. Maybe that's selfish. Canada is more my style than Mexico, but I still think taking care of the United States is No. 1. We don't need to be a traveling, international series."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Richard Petty