Newman Comes To Martinsville To Race, But Finds Time To Fish MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 20, 2008) -- A few years ago, Ryan Newman hopped into his pickup truck after practice at Martinsville Speedway and went looking for a place to...
Newman Comes To Martinsville To Race, But Finds Time To Fish
MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 20, 2008) -- A few years ago, Ryan Newman hopped into his pickup truck after practice at Martinsville Speedway and went looking for a place to fish. He didn't have a boat; he didn't even have a map.
But the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver has a passion for bass fishing and bass fishermen can always find a fishing-hole. It was no different for Newman, the winner of this year's Daytona 500 who is eighth in Sprint Cup points headed into the Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30.
About 15 miles northwest of the historic short track, Newman stumbled across Philpott Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impoundment. It was love at first sight that turned into a long-term relationship.
"I was just driving around looking for a lake so I could go fishing and luckily I found it," said Newman.
On that first trip he didn't have his own boat. So he stood around a put-in ramp and hitched a ride with another fisherman. "He didn't even know who I was at first," said Newman. "But we had a good trip."
Newman hitched rides on the lake a couple of more times, but for the last two or three years has been bringing his own boat to Martinsville Speedway and heading out to Philpott after practice or qualifying.
"It (Philpott) is a real difficult lake to fish," said Newman, whose career catch was a 10-pound, 6-ounce largemouth bass in Atlanta. "It's really deep and it has really clear water. I haven't had good luck there, but I have caught some fish -- just not a lot. It's a tough lake to fish."
Newman's had a little better luck on track at Martinsville Speedway than at Philpott. He's had five top-five finishes in 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville and has finished out of the top 15 only twice. He also has a Martinsville pole win to his credit.
He came awfully close to picking up his first Martinsville win last fall. In fisherman terms, it was sort of like the one that got away.
Newman got around perennial Martinsville favorite Jeff Gordon with a dozen or so laps remaining and had a bead on eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson when a caution came out with just a lap to go, handing Johnson the win. When the caution flew, Newman had pulled almost even with Johnson.
"Certainly there was some disappointment," Newman said of the second-place finish to Johnson. "If I could have run that last lap, I might have won, but we'll never know."
Tickets for both the Goody's Cool Orange 500 on Sunday, March 30, and the Kroger 250, on Saturday, March 29, are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com. Ticket prices for the Goody's Cool Orange 500 range from $42 to $77.
Tickets for the Kroger 250 are $37 in advance, $42 on race day. Kroger 250 tickets for children ages 6 to 12 are $5.
The Goody's Cool Orange 500 weekend kicks off on March 28 with Carilion Clinic Pole Day with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying.
Martinsville Speedway's ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.