Chase in Sight; Business as Usual for Newman, U.S. Army/Haas Automation Team RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 9, 2009) -- For Ryan Newman the math is pretty simple, much easier than what he had to face while earning an engineering degree at Purdue ...
Chase in Sight; Business as Usual for Newman, U.S. Army/Haas Automation Team
RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 9, 2009) -- For Ryan Newman the math is pretty simple, much easier than what he had to face while earning an engineering degree at Purdue University.
"This is not scientific and there's no need to crunch numbers," said Newman, when asked what it's going to take for his U.S. Army/Haas Automation team to qualify for NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. "If we continue to do what we've been doing we should be in good shape. It's a pretty basic formula."
Newman enters Saturday night's final pre-Chase race at the .75-mile Richmond International Raceway in ninth place, 84 points inside the Chase cut line. Following Richmond, the top-12 drivers in points will battle it out for the Cup championship in the final 10 races of the season.
Without being concerned about how other drivers finish, the easiest of the many Chase clinch scenarios for Newman and the No. 39 team is to finish 16th or better in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.
A quick glance at Newman's short track record this year is an encouraging indicator for the Stewart-Haas team. In the four short track races of 2009, Newman has an average finish of 5.75. He had finishes of seventh and sixth at Bristol, sixth at Martinsville and fourth in the Richmond spring race.
"I do caution that nothing is safe and we're all well aware of what can happen on the racetrack," offered the 31-year-old Newman. "But with that said, I look forward to going back to Richmond -- it's a good track for the team and a good track for me. I feel we can win there and would like nothing better for our Soldiers than to follow my Army teammate, Tony Schumacher, who won the Top Fuel title at the recent NHRA U.S. Nationals."
In 15 career starts at Richmond, Newman has one win, five top fives, 9 top 10s for an average finish of 11.7 since 2002.
Newman, who will be driving the No. 39 Year of the NCO (noncommissioned officer) Chevrolet Impala SS at Richmond, said he has always felt that he would be in position of making the Chase with the new Stewart-Haas Racing team.
"I didn't feel like there was any reason why we shouldn't be in this position with the resources and people we have at SHR," stated Newman, who made the Chase the first two years of the championship format in 2004 and 2005, but has missed being in the final 12 the past three seasons.
"The first goal for everyone is to make the Chase," added Newman. "I've been there (in the Chase) and not been there. And when you're not there, it leaves with you an emptiness. Hopefully, we'll be feeling strong and full on Saturday night and ready to reload for the 10-race championship shootout."