RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 1st) "Gordon has had the pole for the first three half-mile race tracks -- two at Bristol and one here at Martinsville, I think. Knocking him off the pole here was pretty big. I'm happy we did it and...
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Qualified 1st)
"Gordon has had the pole for the first three half-mile race tracks -- two at Bristol and one here at Martinsville, I think. Knocking him off the pole here was pretty big. I'm happy we did it and happy for ALLTEL."
DID YOU HERE THE ROAR FROM THE CROWD?
"No, my dad came down and said, 'You should have heard the applause.' That's cool. It's good to be here. The track is a little different, but it's the same for everybody and we're just out there trying as hard as we can."
YOU LOOKED GOOD ALL DAY.
"It's kind of a half and half deal. The driver's got to have finesse for the what the race car's got grip for and Matt and the guys just did an awesome job. They brought a great race car and that part of it was pretty good today."
HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE IS THERE THIS TIME?
"About three tenths. That's the bottom line is just grip in the corners and mostly grip coming off the corners. It's just something we'll have to work with, but, like I said, it's the same for everybody. We'll see what the race track does. I told Matt that this track took a 20.1 to sit on the pole here in the spring and now we're trying to get down into the forties (20.40). It's just kind of wild how things can change so much."
"We've had a great season so far. The guys have done an awesome job in the shop and out of the shop -- on the race track and off. I'm just happy to have had the qualifying effort we had today. It's important to start up front at every race track, but it's more important sometimes on the shorter tracks. I'm looking forward to Sunday and looking forward to getting in race trim and, hopefully, we can be just as fast there."
A LOT HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT THE TRACKS. YOUR THOUGHTS?
"I think you look at a race track like that and you think, 'Man, that's what they do to road just before they pave 'em,' and a lot of people have that mentality when it comes to looking at the race track -- saying, 'Man, we shouldn't be racing on that. That's what you do before you lay down black top.' I think a lot of drivers look at it that way, but sometimes it makes more grip and sometimes it doesn't. Like I said before, the curb is in the same spot, the wall is in the same spot. It's the same old concrete, it's just ground up a little bit in some spots. It still takes the best car and the best driver to get the best lap in on a given day."
HOW MUCH WAS THE LAP YOU AND HOW MUCH THE CAR?
"It's no different than you and writing, if you didn't have a pencil it would be hard to write. It's all about having a good team and a good car and great people behind you. It takes a whole package. There's no one thing that makes it the best. There's a whole bunch of things and if one thing isn't there, then nothing is there."
DO YOU THINK THIS COULD BE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN POINTS WITH TONY?
"Points-wise, we'll just have to see. There are so many things that could happen, but Tony is a great racer. This isn't the first time he's started towards the back of the pack and he, of all people, knows how to pass cars. We'll just have to see how things go. All it takes is for one little thing to go wrong to ruin your day or your day and a whole bunch of other people's. So, hopefully, we can stay out in front of everything and have a good day."