Newman Looking to Repeat History at New Hampshire LOUDON, N.H. Sept. 15, 2009) -- If history is any indicator, then look for Ryan Newman to make an early statement in Sunday's opening round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire...
Newman Looking to Repeat History at New Hampshire
LOUDON, N.H. Sept. 15, 2009) -- If history is any indicator, then look for Ryan Newman to make an early statement in Sunday's opening round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
As one of the 12 drivers who secured a spot in the Chase,Newman can't think of a better place than the New England facility where he has enjoyed success since his 2002 rookie season.
The last time the U.S. Army/Haas Automation driver qualified for the Chase (2005), he kicked off the championship format with a victory at New Hampshire's 1.058-mile oval.
Known as the Magic Mile, the New Hampshire track was also the site of Newman's first career Cup win in September 2002.
In 15 New Hampshire starts,Newman has garnered two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s and four poles. He has an average finish of 14.2 and ranks fourth all-time for most laps led at 537.
"New Hampshire has always been a strong suit for me," stated Newman, who drives the No. 39 Chevrolet Impala SS for Stewart-Haas Racing. "I don't know exactly why. I don't know if I just adapted to the track really soon. I'm not sure but it's a place I look forward to going to. I really enjoy the area and the race track."
While he would like to jump out to a fast start in New Hampshire's Sylvania 300, Newman knows that consistency with strong performances throughout the 10 Chase races will be the key to determining who will hoist the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy following the season-ending race -- Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Speaking of consistency Newman enters the New Hampshire race as the leader in laps completed during the first 26 races of the 2009 season. He has completed 7,323 laps out of 7,336 for a 99.82 percentage. Second is Newman's teammate, Tony Stewart, with 7,322 laps completed (99.81 percent).
"It usually comes down to the team that's been the most consistent -- it's as simple as that," noted Newman, who begins the Chase as the 10th seed. "Our U.S. Army/Haas Automation team has had a pretty decent run lately,but we still need to step it up in order to be a contender in the next 10 races. Those 10 races are all about having fun -- can't really lose anything, but there's a lot to gain."
When asked by the media who he thinks is the Chase favorite, Newman said, "That's a tough question to answer because I think there is more potential for any team to beat themselves than they are to beat who they think is a better competitor. If you're sitting here thinking about who you have to beat then you're not thinking about your own race car and what you have to do to be successful."
Regarding making the Chase for the first time in three years,Newman responded with his thoughts after clinching the prestigious position with a 10th-place finish Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.
"If feels awesome, especially after not making it (Chase) for so many years," said Newman. "We just never let up all season in the Army/Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala SS. When things wouldn't go right we would just battle harder.
"This is our pay back to our Soldiers who give us the mental strength and inspiration to keep on pounding away until the mission is completed.I'm so proud to represent the U.S. Army and knowing that I'm driving for over a million Soldiers fighting for our freedom. This is a win for them, too."
Newman added, "We just did what we wanted to do and that's why it feels so good. It's a dream come true. To think back to Daytona going through basically three race cars and make it to Richmond here and be in this position, it says a lot about the hard work that (crew chief) Tony Gibson, (owner) Tony Stewart and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing have put into this effort."