Talladega: 2nd, 3rd, top rookie press conference, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: Because you have the experience, some people talk about what this type of racing does. With what happened today with Carl's car, does this need to be a wake up call for changes, or would that be an overreaction to...

Continued from part 1

Q: Because you have the experience, some people talk about what this type of racing does. With what happened today with Carl's car, does this need to be a wake up call for changes, or would that be an overreaction to what we saw at the end and with what we have seen here in the past?

RYAN NEWMAN: There's no such thing as overreaction when it comes to safety. For not just, like I said, not just us, but the fans as well. Just the bottom line is, whatever we can do to make it safer for everybody, that's what we need to do. And yesterday and today were two things that I'm sure NASCAR will spend some time looking at, replaying some videos and watching what the cars do and let their engineers figure out what we can do to try to help the situation.

It's just, I don't know, it's just crazy being up here the example. I'm just lucky to be able to cross the start/finish line, I feel.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I feel the same way. You have to understand that, like, for years, we have had wrecks like this every time we come to Talladega ever since the plate got here and for years it was celebrated. The media celebrated it, the network celebrated it, calling it the big one, just trying to attract attention and trying to bring people's attention to the race.

So there's a responsibility with the media and the networks and the sanctioning body itself to come to their senses a little bit and think about, you know, the situation. But I mean, you know, you can't sit here and jump up and go, wow, what I saw today was crazy. I don't think it's right, unless you're a driver, because the media and the networks and everybody has been celebrating that stuff for years.

I think that you have to. I think we have been saying this for years, racing like this is not a whole lot of fun. It's just something we have to do because we have to go out there and race. We can't everybody has got to go race when the damn green flag drops, but this is the way it's been for a long time. Didn't just happen. Didn't just get worse. Didn't just start happening. It's been like this since the mid 90s.

Q: Couldn't help but notice you've watched some of the TVs so you've actually seen that last crash, I'm assuming you've seen the last crash there. Does it look as bad on TV as it did inside the car? And also for junior, were you surprised that Brad pushed Carl to the front, and by you, the way he did?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Well, I don't know about the wrecks. Go ahead.

RYAN NEWMAN: I saw the left rear tire coming right towards my windshield. So, yeah, it was bad. You're running 195, but I knew the glancing below off the wall was going to be no piece of cake, either. Just happy that the guys at Stewart Haas do a good job on my seats and everything.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I didn't have Ryan's point of view, but they are coming to I never saw the two leaders get together, because I couldn't see through Ryan's car, and I told Tony Junior, who had a great seat. I said: I can't see past the 39, so tell me if they are wrecking or what's going on, because I can't I don't know which way to dodge or what to do. He said, "They are wrecking, so go low."

I didn't see the 99. The 99 didn't come into view until Ryan moved to the high side to go around him. I made the I was fortunate where Ryan was unfortunate. I saw them coming on the outside for a couple of corners, what seemed like laps, it seemed like it was 100 laps watching them catch us, and I'm thinking, man, I'm right into Ryan as hard as I can and pushing as hard as I can go, and we were not smart enough to run in the middle like they did.

So you saw everybody making pretty good gains on the middle groove and the top groove all day, and that was what they did. They ran in the middle as they caught us, and they had more momentum and they had less steering wheel in the car on the exit, and the cars were able to accelerate better off the corner. I was just hoping they would break apart once they passed us. I was hoping that Ryan's car would disturb the 09 enough to break them apart, but it didn't. We almost got back to them, but I was


DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I was nervous at that point, because if we were running them back down, we were catching them at a pretty good pace and I didn't know when to lift because I was pushing Ryan. I was like, I really don't I can't see past Ryan. I don't want to run him into the back of somebody that's blocking really badly. So it was a tough little situation to be in.

Q: As far as Brad?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: What can you say about him? He's got a lot of talent and a good future. Did he an amazing job in a car that even the owner will admit probably isn't the best thing out there.

But with that said, James has put a lot into his program this year, with working with Rick and buying certain vehicles from Rick. I mean, James has put a lot into he deserves what he got today for what he's been able to put into the sport to compete, what money he's spent.

So I'm really proud. I've gotten to know him much better over the last couple of years. He did an awesome job today putting Brad in the car this year and giving him an opportunity to run some. It's got to be an amazing feeling for Brad and his family.

Q: As Carl and Brad were coming by, you moved to the outside. With all of the blocking, there was a lot of it, was there anything you could have done to slow him down?

RYAN NEWMAN: To slow the 99, the '09 and the 99? It's hard. It's really hard when you have somebody pushing as hard as Junior was me to have much control of the steering. I'm guiding myself, but I'm being guided by him at the same time, because the rear tires are not touching the racetrack the way they usually do.

I tried to move up once and they had such a good head of steam coming that it was just, man, it's like we could potentially cause a crash here, and one of us might make it out of it, but at the same time, like he said, we had plenty of time still to race it out. And they were coming back to us as we were coming back to the trial over there and they got together.

Only reason I went high was I saw the 99 get turned and as he got turned I didn't anticipate him going all the way around. I anticipated him steering down to the bottom. And basically Brad just kept his foot in it, which I wasn't thinking at the time and that turned the 99 backwards and up in the air.

SCOTT SPEED: I've got a question. When you hit him, did you stay on the gas to the finish line? I was wondering, was the motor still running?

RYAN NEWMAN: Never checked up when I got down. Carburetor was gone I downshifted because I didn't have any brakes and I went to downshift it and started taking off again so I had to hit the kill switch button on the steering wheel.

Q: Can you put on your engineer's cap real quick and tell us if they let you play around with these cars, what changes you might make?

RYAN NEWMAN: I think they adapted the principles from the old style cars you're talking about the cars getting airborne, I assume?

Q: Yes.

RYAN NEWMAN: Okay. I would assume they just adapted their principles and the locations of the old style car to this new style car when it comes to the roof flaps and the cowl flaps and the things like that. This car punches an entirely different type of hole in the air and the bumpers are a good bit different on it. So maybe a little bit of engineering needs to go back into the size of the cowl flaps, the placement of the cowl flaps and potentially additional flaps in general just to be able to slow the cars down immediately once they get turned around or sideways or create more I guess you call it reverse downforce when the cars are going backwards.

Q: Speaking of Stroker Ace, we had the Ricky/Bobby moment. Did you guys see Carl run down the track so he could cross the finish line?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Are you serious?

RYAN NEWMAN: He was on fire.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: You're lying. Did he take like part of the car with him, drove it across the line? (Laughter) That's amazing.

SCOTT SPEED: That's awesome.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Scott has never seen Stroker Ace. So one of you guys ought to bring him a copy next week. He doesn't know what we are talking about. (Laughter) I'd bring him a copy but I think y'all should. It would be a nice gift from one of you guys.

Q: Looked like Brad watched the replay of the Regan Smith deal last year with Tony. Is that anything you've talked about, whether running the Nationwide race or if the situation is there, to say there?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: I didn't tell him to do that, no. He did what he he did what he had to do and won the race, and stood his ground. There's two sides to every argument. You could see both: If Carl didn't agree with it, you could understand where he was coming from and Brad did what he had to do to win the race and you can't take that away from him.

No, we don't really talk too much about racing in general. I think he's just really good observing what's going on around him, watching other people, learning from other drivers, learning from other experiences that happened around him and to him. He just takes everything that happens and he learns from most everything that he gets himself involved in when it comes to driving.

Q: Carl said he's got no problem

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Sure. It was just hard racing. It's unfortunate, you know, that Carl's car reacted the way it did once it did get turned around, because that's just a scary situation, especially or everybody on the front straightaway there.

Q: With this issue coming up, two straight races at this track, is the yellow line rule making this happen? Would they have happened if you could have gone below the yellow line?

RYAN NEWMAN: The yellow line has nothing to do with that. They could put up a wall on the inside of the racetrack that says: You're going hit the wall if you go this low. It has nothing to do with that. It's just we need to keep the cars down on the ground once they get turned around.

It's just the way the cars are. We saw Kenseth's car yesterday get turned around spinning to the right and we saw Carl's car get turned around today spinning to the left. Obviously both situations need a little bit of work. We could hit here and talk about it till we are blue in the face. We have to go back in the drawing board and do some work on the race cars or potentially look at what work we need to do on the race cars before we overreact as well.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.: Think back over eight, ten years ago, and remember why the yellow line rule was brought in in the first place, and you watch a lot of races just prior to that rule coming into the sport. You'll see that there are as many potentially accidents that could be caused without the rule as could be blamed on the rule. So if we don't have it, there's a lot of stuff that would be going on that you didn't see today that would be causing just as much trouble and drama.

RYAN NEWMAN: Were there any yellow line infractions today? I didn't hear of anybody.

THE MODERATOR: I don't believe so, Ryan. One warning.

RYAN NEWMAN: One warning? There you go.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, guys, thank you very much. We'll see you in Richmond.

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Regan Smith