Stewart-Haas Racing press release
Newman, Army Team Take Chase Fight to Dover
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 27, 2011) -- If there were ever a time when Ryan Newman and the U.S. Army race team needed to possess the mental, emotional and physical strength of an Army Strong Soldier, it would be in Sunday's AAA 400 Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway, the third of 10 Chase playoff races.
Despite having strong performances in the first two Chase events at Chicagoland Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Newman finds himself in 11th place, 34 markers from teammate and points leader, Tony Stewart.
"The results have not equaled the performances for our team at the past two races," said Newman, whose U.S. Army Chevrolet at Dover will pay tribute to the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (Army ROTC), a college-based, officer commissioning program. "We know we should be up there with the point leaders. A fuel mileage issue at Chicago and a flat tire at New Hampshire cost us valuable points, especially last week at Loudon (New Hampshire)."
When Newman took the white flag at the Chicagoland Speedway race he was running fourth, but with two turns remaining on the 1.5-mile oval he ran out of gas and coasted to the checkered flag with an eighth-place finish.
At Sunday's race in New Hampshire, a pit-road miscue knocked Newman out of first place after he led the first 62 laps. But more devastating was an unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire with fewer than five laps remaining, which dropped Newman from a probable top-10 finish to 25th.
"We've put ourselves in a hole, but the good news is that we still have eight races to go to make up the difference," noted Newman. "We've been known for our comebacks and the way we fight through adversity. One thing you always hear from our Soldiers is that you never quit and you complete the mission. That's what this Army race team has done and will always continue to do."
If Newman's history at Dover's Monster Mile has any significant meaning, then it's the place he wants to be at to turn around his recent misfortunes.
In 19 starts at Dover, Newman has garnered three wins, six top-fives, 11 top-10s, four poles and has led 842 laps.
"Dover ranks real high on my list of favorite tracks -- it's a lot of fun to drive there," explained Newman. "I like everything about the facility, the ability to pass cars, the speed, the high banking and the concrete track surface. I've always said once you get a race car right there, it usually stays right all day. I sure like the challenge of dropping off into the corners and the way it pushes you down in the seat when you're coming off the corners. Dover is also an awesome place to qualify at even though it's not a forgiving track."