Recent Success Has Newman, Army Team Upbeat for Texas Race FORT WORTH, Texas (April 1, 2009) -- After two successful short track finishes of seventh at Bristol, Tenn. (March 22) and sixth in Martinsville, Va. (March 29), Ryan Newman says he is...
Recent Success Has Newman, Army Team Upbeat for Texas Race
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 1, 2009) -- After two successful short track finishes of seventh at Bristol, Tenn. (March 22) and sixth in Martinsville, Va. (March 29), Ryan Newman says he is ready to challenge the ultra-fast Texas Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
The U.S. Army driver out of the Stewart-Haas Racing camp has enjoyed success at the 1.5-mile oval, including a victory at the 2003 event. He has also posted two other top-five finishes at Texas along with securing two pole positions.
"For me personally I know I can win there," said Newman. "You have the confidence as a driver to do what you have to do to achieve your goal. Going back with a different team and different race car you try to adapt the things you have learned in the past."
"Texas is a fast track that I really enjoy," added Newman. "As the track has aged and matured it's become a better race and I look forward to racing there this weekend in the U.S. Army Chevrolet."
When asked how big his 2003 victory was at Texas, Newman said, "It was huge -- it was my second points win and it solidified that the first one wasn't luck. Races are not easy to win. The best way to tell it is I have a one in 43 chance of winning each and every week." (Newman's first of 13 career Cup point wins was September 2002 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway)
Newman's No. 39 Army team is riding a wave of momentum after consecutive top-10 finishes, and according to crew chief Tony Gibson the pace needs to continue before kicking it up another notch.
"We need three or four solid top-10 finishes to get ourselves established in the points," said Gibson. "We're being a little conservative, just running our race and trying not to do anything stupid. We want the top 10s to lead to top fives and then to wins."
What has been pleasing to Newman is the team's progression of finishes during the first six races of the season.
"Each race has been better all year long -- there's something to be said for that," noted Newman following Sunday sixth-place run in Martinsville.
Newman's success the past two weeks has catapulted him from 31st to 18th in the Sprint Cup driver point standings. He is fewer than 100 points from being in the top-10.
"We can't look back or look ahead, we need to continue what we've been doing the past two races and show improvement," said Newman.
With Newman finishing sixth in Martinsville and Tony Stewart (team owner and No. 14 driver) finishing third, it was the first time the new Stewart-Haas Racing team put two cars inside the top 10. "Hopefully that's a sign of things to come," said Newman.