RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed racing at Pocono, Matt Borland’s position at SHR, fines in NASCAR and other topics.
TALK ABOUT YOUR STRATEGY COMING INTO POCONO: “It will be interesting. It puts the driver back a little bit more into the equation of things with respect to the shifting. The second part of the shifting is that it does change the handling of the race car so getting into a car that drives good when you don’t shift versus when you do shift just because of the fuel mileage situation with the big race track, that makes a difference as well. The combination of driver, crew chief and race car, is probably more important than it is most other race tracks just with the asymmetry of the race. Three different corners; different banking; different length straightaways; shifting; not shifting-those types of things. A lot of communication has to be done here. You add into that your spotter talking you coming off of turn four the first couple of times, you get everything sorted out, you can have a good day.”
HAS TONY TALKED TO YOU AT ALL ABOUT THE MULTI MILLION DOLLAR DEAL WITH INDYCAR AT LAS VEGAS AND ARE YOU INTERESTED? “I have no idea what you are talking about, so, no he hasn’t talked to me about it.”
INDYCAR IS OFFERING FIVE MILLION DOLLARS TO RUN...”Oh the double-deal or whatever it is? No, we haven’t talked about it. We’d rather go run a sprint car show with five grand to win, that is just kind of how we work.”
IT IS MATHEMATICALLY POSSIBLE THAT A MULTI-RACE WINNER MIGHT NOT MAKE THE CHASE, WOULD YOU TRADE A CHASE POSITION WITH NO WINS FOR TWO OR THREE WINS AND NOT MAKE THE CHASE? WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT? “It all depends if you have a lot of second-place finishes. Just looking at the average of what it takes to be a champion. You want to be a winner in the first place. You have 26 chances to be a two-time winner, let’s say. That is pretty tough to pass up. My point about the second-place finishes is that if you aren’t a winner in the first 26, it is going to be really tough to be a champion in the last 10 and the second part of that is that you are going to have to have, what is Jimmie’s average the last five years-like sixth or seventh? That is a lot of second-place finishes if you are not a winning team. That is a 50/50 crap shoot if you ask me when it comes to what would I rather have. I also want to have a shot at the championship but typically, if you aren’t a winner in the first 26, you are not going to be a champion anyway.”
EARLIER THIS WEEK, THERE WERE ANNOUNCED CHANGES AT STEWART-HAAS RACING WITH MATT BORLAND BECOMING THE VP OF COMPETITION, WHY DO YOU FEEL THOSE CHANGES WERE NECESSARY AT THIS POINT AND WHAT DOES MATT BRING TO THE TABLE WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH HIM THAT IS GOING TO MAKE HIM EXCEL IN THAT ROLE? “Two things, for a lot of us, it was a bit of a surprise, I’ll say that. But at the same time, changes are sometimes needed to initiate the spark. To initiate that new chemistry and I think between…I don’t think Matt’s position right now is his long-term goal and I think it’s an interim thing, but he does bring a lot of technology. A lot of, obviously, crew chief background. To my knowledge, I can’t say this and know, but I don’t know that Bobby Hutchens ever was a crew chief, he’s worked with them a lot. I think from Matt’s standpoint, he is very in-depth with the engineering side of things and I think a lot of the work, a lot of the emphasis is now more-so on the crew chiefs than it is Matt Borland.”
TONY WAS COMPLAINING LAST WEEK ABOUT THE DESCREPANCY OF MOTORS, THEN THE PERSONNEL CHANGES, HAVE YOU GUYS PINPOINTED WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE OR ARE YOU SEARCHING AROUND TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT? “I’m sure you have listened to it by everybody else, but these cars are super sensitive. It doesn’t take much at all to get off when it comes to the grip, the speed and the balance of the race car. I’m not sure how to equate until NASCAR does a chassis dyno or an engine dyno where we are at compared to the Fords, Dodges and Toyotas. I think that the change that was made at our shop was just an internal one. It has nothing to do with our relationship with Hendrick. It has nothing to do with the chassis or engines. It is more a team chemistry situation and that’s part of why every change is made is how everybody gets along. Like I said, I’m not in the ownership role. I’m a hired driver so I only see part of everything that goes on. I’m told right before or right after what goes on when it comes to the changes. It is a tough situation, especially with Bobby (Hutchens). Everybody in here knows Bobby with his personal life as well as his professional life and that’s something that was definitely thought of. We’re just out there racing hard and trying to make a difference. Like I said, the emphasis right now is more so on the crew chiefs than it is Matt Borland. Matt’s a great guy, brings a lot to the table. And, he’s been at the table. He’s in our competition meetings; he knows what is going on. He’s always a very integral and important part of our team and our organization. It’s more just a naming thing I think right now with him.”
... we should all be talking about the positive things.
DID YOU GET A FINE FROM NASCAR FOR SOMETHING IN THE HAULER WITH JUAN PABLO MONTOYA? “I’ve always said that private things happen privately and what happens in the trailer stays in the trailer and there is a reason that we have private meetings and there is a reason that NASCAR does things the way they do.”
DO YOU THINK THAT IT SHOULD MATTER TO NASCAR WHETHER IT GIVES A FINE PRIVATELY OR PUBLICALLY AS TO WHETHER ANOTHER COMPETITOR HAS THREATENED LEGAL ACTION? “I don’t know anything about the legal action part of things. I do know that when we are talking about fines, whether it is private or public, there is nothing really we should elaborate on because it is not something that our sport should be proud of or should elaborate. To me, it is something for you guys to write, but it is not something that is good for our sport so it’s not something we want to keep talking about first of all. In every other sport, to my knowledge, out there has it, whether it’s golf, basketball, football, whatever. I don’t know how they handle it, whether it is publically, privately or both, but, I’ll just say that it is a negative aspect of our sport and we should all be talking about the positive things.”
-source: team chevy