RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed his win last weekend at Phoenix, green-white-checker finishes, getting Tony Gibson his first Cup victory as a crew chief, and much ...
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 TORNADOS CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway and discussed his win last weekend at Phoenix, green-white-checker finishes, getting Tony Gibson his first Cup victory as a crew chief, and much more.
RYAN, WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND COMPETITION-WISE? "I don't know I'm not in the top-12, so I'm not really sure why I'm here. I mean it was a great experience last week, something I haven't felt in 77 races. I'm just really excited to get Tornados in victory lane. They're a new sponsor for us, as well as a new sponsor in NASCAR. When times are tough, it's nice to have them and to reward them with a victory. For Tony Gibson and myself--it was Tony's first win as a crew chief, my first win in a long time and for a lot of the guys it was great experience. I kind of didn't want to come here because as soon as you pull at the next weekend's race, it's in the past and you're focused on the present weekend.
WITH SO MANY OF THESE RACES COMING DOWN TO THESE RESTARTS AND THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED FINISHES, HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR WEEKEND? DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR PREPARATIONS? DO YOU HAVE TO TALK TO TONY MORE ABOUT THAT? IS THAT PROCESS CHANGING A LITTLE BIT AND DO YOU HAVE TO CHANGE HOW YOU DO YOUR JOB DURING THE WEEKEND? "Not a lot. Going back to Phoenix, I really thought that we were going to have multiple restarts there just based on the fact that we had a 45-50 lap green flag run, and then everything got bunched back up. I know that cautions breed more cautions. Luckily, it was only a green-white-checkered and not four-to-go, because I'm pretty sure that we wouldn't have made it to the checkered if it was about four-to-go. It doesn't change a whole lot; it's just an additionally variable that we didn't have. I think it's great for the fans, just like when we did the initial green-white-checker to end the race under green that is what people are here to see. To have multiple shots at it is for the fans. It's just a matter of us adapting our strategy and our situations to make sure that we make it there and that we do so with the best finishing position possible."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR STRATEGY LAST WEEKEND? HOW WAS THAT DECIDED? "Originally he said four tires, and I said that you better think about two, and that was as far as I went. Then he called for two, we put two on the car, the guys had a good stop, we came out 2nd and the rest was history. There are different ways of looking at it, and every crew chief has a different perspective on it. It's just a matter of putting the perspective together with the driver and crew chief to get you the best result."
NEXT WEEKEND WE GO TO TALLADEGA WITH THE SPOILERS ON THE CAR. DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS WILL BE PART OF THE SOLUTION TO MAKE SURE THAT THESE CARS DON'T GET AIRBORNE LIKE YOU GOT THERE LAST TIME? "I think it's definitely a step in the right direction. The testing data, from what I've been told proves that with the spoiler versus the wing with the car going backwards and the 'lift-off speed' as they call it. I don't know. I think that making it safer not just for us drivers, but for the fans too, keeping the car on the ground is what it's all about. We'll see. Just like we did in Atlanta; we saw there that a car could fly with a wing on the back of it. This weekend is just as much of a test with the speeds here as it is in Talladega."
LAST WEEKEND AT PHOENIX WAS TONY GIBSON'S FIRST CUP WIN AS A CREW CHIEF. COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THAT NOW THAT YOU HAD SIX DAYS TO THINK ABOUT THAT? "It makes it that much sweeter from my perspective because I was a part of his first Cup win as a crew chief. I guess I just kind of took it for granted knowing his experience in the sport, going back to the Alan Kulwicki days, that even with Dale Jr. and DEI and everything else, I made the assumption that at some point he was a crew chief for winning a race, and he wasn't. He was a part of two different championships with two different organizations, and I think his next personal goal is to be one of the few guys, if not the first, to be a representative of a team that has won three championships. He has his goals set too personally. It was just sweeter for me, from my standpoint, just like it was for everybody else, or a lot of other guys on the team, to get their firs Cup victory."
-source: gm racing