Michigan International Speedway
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY/BUD MOORE NASCAR HALL OF FAME CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed upcoming repaving at MIS, his visit to the GM Proving Grounds this week, road course racing, and more.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HAVING BUD MOORE ON THE 39 CAR THIS WEEKEND?: “It’s big. We’ve been working for two and a half years to get the US Army in victory lane. We’ve been close at times. We’ve given a couple away and we’ve had a couple taken away. This weekend, having the US Army back on the race car – on their birthday weekend or as my wife always says, their birthday week. It’s the Army’s birthday weekend and to have Bud Moore on the car – an American hero and a veteran of the US Army and a recognized one at that as well as part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It’s a special weekend for me personally. I enjoy the history of the sport. I enjoy this race track. It’s always been kind of considered my home race track being from Northern Indiana and really look forward to the opportunity here. It looks like we’re blessed with some pretty, pretty weather and we’ll see if we can make the best of it and put on a good show for the fans.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MICHIGAN GETTING REPAVED?: “Just like every other race track, it will change the grip and the tire combination, which will have an effect on the racing. We’ve never gone, I shouldn’t say this, but I don’t think we’ve ever gone to a newly surfaced race track and run three wide or had three grooves to work with so it changes the characteristics of the racing. In saying that, it’s something that has to be done for the future of our sport from a safety standpoint. I know that they also work pretty hard here too with the weepers and the water drainage part of things so there’s some things that I think they’ve learned at other race tracks that they can apply to here to help with the drying process and the safety aspect of it as well. As drivers, I should say, I never like to see them paved. I love them when they’re old and they have character and they’re lacking grip and we can take a tire there that’s pretty grippy and falls off and that is a good combination for us as drivers, especially for the racing and for the fans. It’s going to be another work in progress for Goodyear to bring and build a tire for a new race track of this shape and of this caliber.”
WHAT WERE YOU DOING AT THE GM PROVING GROUNDS YESTERDAY?: “It was pretty neat from a technical standpoint to see where GM is at their proving grounds. Number one – their proving grounds in Milford was amazing. The size of it and the mileage of testing tracks and courses and surfaces that they have working on ride control and stability and braking and things like that was pretty amazing. Then to get to drive the Camaro – the super-charged Camaro was pretty wild out on their skid pad. They’ve got a 67-acre skid pad and half of it has been repaved. We got to work on the grippy half so talking about the race track, I guess it’s kind of similar. We got to race on the new Michigan yesterday at the skid pad and the old Michigan was getting repaved. The way they work with their computers and the technology aspect of it to work on their stability control and they’re antilock braking and things like that. I was driving a Camaro and the engineer had a computer in the right side and he could manipulate the car and work on the traction control and things like that. It’s pretty neat to see their facilities for the first time and understand that they’re a big part of what has been very successful in the NASCAR Chevrolet program.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ROAD COURSE RACING?: “I’ve always said it’s much more physical going to the road courses inside the race car and I guess at times much more risk of having that driver control and not getting out of control and getting off the race track. Here, you get off the race track and you’re in the fence. There, you get off the race track and you’re in sand r you’re in the sticks, I guess you could say and that can totally change your day. Something as simple as getting a tire off course in qualifying can change your entire weekend.
“I look forward to going out there – I love the challenge, I love the road course. To me, there’s two good passing zones and 11 corners so you’re falling behind on the guy in front of the guy in front of you in nine of the 11 if you don’t get around the guy in front of you. Keep up with me here. I like it, its fun to hustle the race cars. That’s what really as drivers we like.”
ARE YOU CONCERNED WITH MICHIGAN BECOMING A ONE GROOVE RACE TRACK AFTER IT GETS REPAVED?: “No matter how good of a paving crew there is, there’s still going to end up with character and the character comes with time. They obviously strive to do a perfect job – that’s what they’re goal is just like when they pave a highway is to make it perfectly smooth, but that highway gains character over time as well. We don’t want it to be one groove obviously, it’s a super wide race track and it’s really a balance of what Goodyear does with the tires they bring here and how they marble up, what kind of debris they throw as far as making it a one groove track or giving us the ability to move around and get that clean air and make those passes.
“At the same time, it ages pretty quickly up here with the weather conditions. Obviously, you get pretty hot summers and obviously the change with the cold winters and everything else. That’s a big reason why it is the way it is right now. I was talking to someone a couple weeks ago and they’re talking about turns three and four and I said, ‘Well, you realize it’s settled down there.’ The track has got two different – it’s almost got progressive banking and that’s something that the track has developed over time just due to the age of it. That’s character and that’s made for good racing.”
(The driver is) using his whole body and it’s an effort to go in and around a road course.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PART OF THIS RACE WEEKEND?: “I’m very, very proud to be here this weekend and I’m happy to be recognized by the US Army as especially by Ryan (Newman) and all his crew in the car and putting my picture on the side of the car is something else as far as I’m concerned. It’s the US Army birthday. It’s great to know that Ryan and all his crew – that they are doing such a good job as far as the US Army is concerned and celebrating the 236th anniversary as far as they’re concerned. Me being in the Army the way I was during World War II and all this as Ryan said, they put my picture on the car and I was only 18 years old. He said I was a boy scout back then. Anyway, it’s a big, big honor for me knowing what’s happening here this weekend and it’s an honor for me to get back here – I haven’t been back here since 1998 and knowing some of the changes they have made here. It’s going to be a great weekend here for me to be associated with Ryan and all the crew and the Army crew and all the people here.”
ON ROAD COURSE RACING: “One thing about running a road course is the fact that you have drivers sitting there using both arms, but you have to use both feet the same way so he’s using his whole body and it’s an effort to go in and around a road course. It’s the one thing that makes it challenging for the driver and also the car itself to make those corners and all and keep it out of the sand.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ARMY TODAY AND THE MEN AND WOMEN DEFENDING THIS COUNTRY?: “When I was in the Army and going through what I did in World War II, I was with General Patton the whole time I was over there and when we fought the war over there, we sort of knew who we were fighting and who we didn’t. I know the young men now are going to Afghanistan and Iraq and all over there now, they don’t know who they’re fighting or anything else on this part. That’s what makes it real bad – a guy can be two or three standing there and a guy walks up and blows himself up and kill three or four of them and they don’t even know this is going to happen. What we did in World War II – we killed everything that moved. If it was a cow or a bird or dog or what – it didn’t make any difference. These guys have to do a little different situation and I feel for them because I wouldn’t want to be over there going through what they’re going through and not knowing just who we’re fighting and who we’re not and who’s going to walk up and who’s going to shoot you and who’s not. It’s real bad and you have to give them boys a big honor right now because for them to go over there and do what they’re doing and the job they’ve been doing and they’ve done a heck of a job over there and I’m looking forward to seeing them bringing them home, which they should do right now. I don’t think we have all that much business to be over there because what are we going to gain so we need to bring them guys home and let them start doing a little something else.”
-source: team chevy