Phoenix II: Ryan Newman preview

As Newman Prepares for Phoenix, He Reflects on Veterans Day, Army Sponsorship PHOENIX (Nov. 10, 2009) -- The timing was only appropriate for Ryan Newman to reflect on what it has meant to drive a race car sponsored by the U.S. Army. He spoke...

As Newman Prepares for Phoenix, He Reflects on Veterans Day, Army Sponsorship

PHOENIX (Nov. 10, 2009) -- The timing was only appropriate for Ryan Newman to reflect on what it has meant to drive a race car sponsored by the U.S. Army. He spoke about the sponsorship the day before Veterans Day, an annual United States holiday observed on Nov. 11 to honor military veterans.

"My Army heart is heavier this week based on what happened in Fort Hood last week," said Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army/Haas-Automation Chevy Impala SS. "Since tomorrow (Wednesday) is Veterans Day, every citizen needs to sit back and offer remembrance to our Veterans for their unselfish commitment and fight to preserve freedom.

"I am so proud to drive the U.S. Army car, it's been an eye-opening experience this year with the Army as our primary sponsor. I've had the privilege of visiting with so many Soldiers at Army bases, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at the track. They are my heroes and it's an incredible feeling and honor knowing that our Stewart-Haas Racing team represents more than one million Soldiers in the NASCAR world. That is awesome!"

Newman, who came close to putting the No. 39 Soldiers' car in Victory Lane at the Memorial Day race in Charlotte, N.C., says it would be special to score the team's first win in the Army car in Sunday's penultimate Sprint Cup race -- the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

"We finished second in the Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day race, so it would only be fitting for our team to claim our first Army win during the week we celebrate Veterans Day," noted Newman.

Newman has come close to winning at the one-mile Phoenix track, scoring a second-place finish in November 2004. In this year's spring race at Phoenix, Newman was leading with six laps remaining, before being shuffled back in the field. He also has four career poles at Phoenix.

"I look forward to Phoenix, it's a driver's racetrack because it's unique," explained Newman, whose first career Cup start was at Phoenix - Nov. 5, 2000. "It's different from one end to the other. And, therefore, the crew chief can only get one end perfect, it seems, and the other one the driver has to adapt to. Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks and I know Tony (Gibson, crew chief) feels the same."

Newman enters Phoenix in ninth place in the Chase driver point standings with two races remaining.

"Scoring strong results in the last two races could move us up a few more positions," said Newman. "It's been a good year with our first-year team and first-year Stewart-Haas organization. We want to continue to have strong performances to carry over into 2010."

-credit: shr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing