RYAN NEWMAN in the No. 12 Alltel Ford was the RaybestosÂ® Rookie of The Race at Richmond. Newman finished second, 1.4 seconds behind race winner Tony Stewart. He scored his third top-five and fifth top-10 of the 2002 season. This is the first...
RYAN NEWMAN in the No. 12 Alltel Ford was the Raybestos® Rookie of The Race at Richmond. Newman finished second, 1.4 seconds behind race winner Tony Stewart. He scored his third top-five and fifth top-10 of the 2002 season. This is the first time since Darlington in March that he has been the top finishing rookie.
"We definitely had a good car, from the drop of the green flag last night until the checkered flag today. We knew we had a good car. For us it was just a matter of track position. Sometimes when you restart in fourth position you are really eighth and you've got some guys that are a lap down trying so hard to get their lap back you loose touch with the leaders very shortly. I'm happy to have the run that we had today. I wish we could have won. We had a car capable of winning without a doubt. Sometimes you can't always finish what you start. We had a very good run. That's a big confidence builder for us going into Charlotte. Congratulations to Tony (Stewart, race winner). He drove his butt off. They worked on their car all day. I'm happy to come home second. I wish we could have won but our day will come, I guess. The Alltel Ford was awesome. The guys did a good job in the pits. We weren't really good on the short run and that's where Tony got by me. I think if I could have got in front of him and held him off there that last restart that his car would have been a little tight just like mine was behind him."
WERE YOU SURPRISED TO RUN THIS WELL AT RCIHMOND?
"We tested pretty good. We tested with Rusty (Wallace, Newman's teammate) and that was a great help. Having Rusty Wallace help you around Richmond any day is a good day."
WAS IT A PHYSICAL RACE?
"It's Richmond; it's going to be (physical). I think the track was pretty fast and it had a couple of grooves so it made for better racing, I think. My car was good all day. It was definitely a fun race. We got to pass a lot of cars. There was a lot of courtesy out there as far as lapped cars and everything else. I'm happy when you can come home with a finish like that."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, finished 31st. Johnson was involved in an accident while racing Jimmy Spencer for the lead at the 300 lap mark. Johnson went behind the wall for repairs to his car but he returned to the race and was running at the finish.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU WERE RACING JIMMY SPENCER FOR THE LEAD?
"I'm not too sure. That's the first time I had been loose in (to the corners) all day. There's a bump going into (turn) three that I must have caught at the wrong time when I jumped on the brakes underneath Spencer. I haven't seen the video. I don't know if we touched. I didn't think that we did. I knew we were racing close and racing hard. It's just a shame that the thing turned around on me. I really felt like we had the car to beat. We fought from 26th up to the front. We got boxed in the pits once and had different things going on in the pits and were able to drive back up to the front. I really thought we were going to have our second win. I'm disappointed that I made a mistake that cost us some points and got us tore up. Then again, I don't know what I did wrong. I'm a little dumbfounded right now."
YOUR CAR SEEMED TO GET BETTER AND BETTER DURING THE RACE.
"The car was really good on the long run. The sealer would start coming up after about 20 laps. A lot of the guys weren't creative enough with their lines (around the track) to find their way around the sealer and keep their momentum up. I was using my off-road background and looking at different lines and different ways around the sealer that was causing everybody such problems."