RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Qualified third NOTE: Newman has qualified third or better in six of the last seven races. "He (Gordon) won three of the four poles last year on the half-mile race tracks. He's trying to get back at...
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) - Qualified third
NOTE: Newman has qualified third or better in six of the last seven races.
"He (Gordon) won three of the four poles last year on the half-mile race tracks. He's trying to get back at us I guess because we were the ones who knocked him off of the other one.
"It's a good thing (extra lap) because it gets the tires warmed up and that gets the cars more controllable, but we had the fastest first lap of anybody, so that would have been our second qualifying lap. Take it which ever way you want.
"I just take the corners for what they are and we'll see. I honestly can't answer that.
"The tires themselves are pretty durable here. For lack of a better term, I call them nipples on top of the tires, they're from the mold. What most of the people do and this is my opinion, they get those off of there so when they go out and make their qualifying run they're not knocking those things off on the first lap. That's the biggest thing. It's not as much a heat cycle or anything. It's just a little bit on an insurance program I guess.
"This place here of all places, I guess Bristol is closest, you have to hit your marks, do everything just right and obviously be at the right place at the right time. This place compares to Bristol is a little more lenient as far as not getting caught up in a wreck and things like that. The speeds aren't so high, mostly to do with the banking obviously. You just try to keep your nose clean, not getting a hot temper when you can't get around somebody and just waiting for the right time and having good strategy.
"The biggest thing last year, the first race I knocked a hole in the radiator. That taught me a little bit more about the patience part of it and not being so aggressive. The second race we had some brake problems, but it's all about patience and strategy and keeping a cool head. Hopefully if you've got a good race car and everything else works out you'll be at the right place at the right time.
"We've seen it before with different accidents that things align themselves just right and crazy things happen. All I heard that tether on the left front of the wheel assembly ripped right in half right in the middle. I don't know if it was cut by a piece of sheetmetal or getting pinched between two pieces of metal or if it just sheered it. It's just the way things are aligned.
"The biggest sore I had was my foot. When I left-fronted it up in the wall, my left foot got caught under the pedal. I told everybody in the shop that it looked like I Barney Fifed myself. It looked like I shot myself right in the top center of my foot. There's a little dot right there that looks like a bullet went right through. It's all swollen up, but it only hurts when I take my shoe off and put it on. I was OK the next day. I was probably more sore the next day from just going through that hard hit."