Newman's Talladega Goal: Another Strong Result, Smoother Ride to the Finish TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 28, 2009) -- Ryan Newman's best career finish at Talladega Superspeedway came during the April race at the 2.66-mile oval when he posted a ...
Newman's Talladega Goal: Another Strong Result, Smoother Ride to the Finish
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 28, 2009) -- Ryan Newman's best career finish at Talladega Superspeedway came during the April race at the 2.66-mile oval when he posted a third-place result.
His hope is not only to finish two positions better when the Sprint Cup circuit returns to the Alabama track for Sunday's running of the AMP Energy 500, but also to have a less precarious ride to the checkered flag in his U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala SS.
In the April Talladega event, Newman, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski were the three drivers vying for the win with the finish line in sight. But in the track's traditional white-knuckle final lap, Newman's No. 39 Chevy limped to the finish line after Carl Edwards' frightening airborne car clipped Newman's hood, causing major damage to the Stewart-Haas Racing machine.
"It was a wild finish and it got a little tense at the end," recalled Newman."We want exciting races, but we don't want to see cars airborne either. It's not safe and we need to collectively work to make sure what happened in the last race at Talladega doesn't happen again. One big step taken was to reduce the restrictor plate size to slow the cars down so we're less likely to get airborne."
In 15 career starts at Talladega, Newman's record includes four top fives, seven top 10s and four races he did not finish.
"We're going into Talladega knowing that we can win," stated Newman, who has one win at a restrictor-plate race -- the 2008 Daytona 500. "The talent of the U.S. Army/Haas Automation team plus our Hendrick horsepower give us a good feeling about this weekend. We'll keep on fighting hard to get our Army Strong Soldiers the first win of the season."
With four races remaining in the 2009 season, Newman is looking to improve upon his seventh-place position in the Chase point standings. He gained one spot in the standings following his seventh-place finish in Sunday's Cup race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
"We have some tracks coming up that should be good for us," noted Newman, who has five top-five and 15 top-10 finishes this season. "Obviously we want to make a statement in the closing races which will give us a positive head of steam going into next season."
Newman and his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Tony Stewart, are tied for completing the most laps during the 2009 season. Out of a possible 9388 laps, Newman and Stewart have completed 9374 for a 99.9 percent ranking.
"Completing the most laps is a tribute to the crews of both the No. 39 and No. 14 teams at Stewart-Haas Racing," said Newman. "There are a number of reasons why this first-year organization has been successful and completing the most laps is one of them."