RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY/HAAS AUTOMATION IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Watkins Glen International and discussed racing at The Glen, where he is in the Chase, racing in the rain and other topics. TALK ABOUT YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS...
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 US ARMY/HAAS AUTOMATION IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Watkins Glen International and discussed racing at The Glen, where he is in the Chase, racing in the rain and other topics.
TALK ABOUT YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND'S RACE: "I was thinking that my answer would be, that we have two different races this weekend we're looking at. Not just Nationwide and Cup, but obviously the points race as well as the race itself. The physical race on Sunday. We're not in the position we want to be, but we're in position that we can expand upon being ninth in points. If we have a good run on Sunday, it will kind of set the tempo for the next three or four races and how we get in to the Chase. This is, I guess in a roundabout way, a superspeedway race. You just never know what is going to happen. A lot of demand on the race car here. We just have to make sure that I am good with the transmission and gear and all that stuff and put ourselves in position where we can hopefully win the race and answer a lot of questions."
DID YOU WANT TO RUN THE NATIONWIDE RACE HERE AND DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE PLANS FOR DRIVING THE NO. 1 CAR IN NNS? "I had talked to James Finch previously and he said he had a bunch of road course cars and was talking about doing another car here. Then I think things kind of dissolved a little bit with the situation he had, so the situation was on Monday that I flew down to the shop and put a seat in the car and met the guys. Then, come up here and race. I look forward to it. I know they have really good equipment. They've won a race this year. They've proven themselves. On the road courses it is a little different. It is a situation for me that I think I can learn a little bit. Try to win another race, that is what we are always trying to do as drivers, but learn a little bit. That will help me on Sunday as well."
WHY CAN THE NATIONWIDE CARS RACE IN THE RAIN AT THE GLEN AND THE CUP CARS CAN'T? "I think that in bad weather NASA sends up smaller space craft instead of the big space craft and it is pretty similar. (LAUGHS) You don't want to risk a lot. I don't think it would be an ideal situation for all the fans. It hasn't, per se, been done yet. It has been tested and practiced a little bit. I am all for it, I have never raced in the rain. It would be a disadvantage to me. I think it is still racing. As far as the fans, I don't think it would be as good of a race in the rain as it would be if it is dry. That I think is the hesitation more so for Sunday than it is on Saturday."
GOING BACK TO LAST WEEK ANOTHER FOUR-HOUR MARATHON AT POCONO, WITH NASCAR COMING OUT WITH THE SCHEDULE HERE SOON, DO YOU THINK ITS TIME FOR THEM TO SAY POCONO 400 AND BEYOND THAT YOUR WISH LIST? "Realistically from an excitement stand point all the races could be shortened. It's more of a historical reference as far as why we are racing as long as we are than it is a necessity. I think that the racing typically is drawn out in that middle 300 miles.
"The first 100 people are getting themselves in position for the next 300 and the last 100 typically in a 500-mile race what do you got and what can you prove. In respect to the race tracks I've always said that I think it would be ideal for us to go to more race tracks in different areas only once instead of going to certain race tracks twice, not in respect to Pocono but just in respect to NASCAR racing and the fans in general. I think that is a more ideal situation to touch fans in different areas that we haven't touched. If that's a market that starts out as 70,000 fans and can expect to 125,000 in two years then that's something we need to look at. But in general I think the races are long and drawn out in some respects to the race car. The type of car that we're racing at those types of race tracks. You go to places like Richmond, Martinsville, Bristol and you don't see that. I think it still has something to do with the aerodynamics of this race car."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RACING AT BRISTOL AND THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME THAT DOUBLE-FILE RESTARTS ARE USED AT BRITSOL. "Yeah I think Bristol the track and just in general its more conducive to two-wide racing than it ever has been so I think those double-file restarts will be more exciting for the fans. We saw when the race track was redone that the fans were mostly disappointed because they didn't see the bumper-to-bumper beating and banging and the crashes. I think the double-file restarts will add some excitement back to that. Not because of the crashes but just more excitement and we've seen that I think in my opinion at every race. Pocono was probably the worst I've seen as far as aggressiveness on restart and I think guys are starting to realize it's a great opportunity to make some spots and feeling a little bit more aggressive. That will mix up that 500-mile question a little bit more depending on the restarts that we have but for a long time there at Pocono we didn't have much for restarts in the middle of the race."
CAN YOU LOOK BACK OVER THE SEASON AND BREAK IT DOWN INTO SEGMENTS? "I'd say in general most racers and race teams spend more time predicted the future than dwelling on the past and trying to figure out how we progressed. I think it's more of a situation where we know how we progressed and we know how we gelled as a team so that we need to expand upon that. We incidentally and purposely do that as a team. It's just a matter of taking the time and focusing on some of those things. We as drivers or crew chiefs in an organization don't always sit down and have meetings about how we can better. We're more of a hands-on do better type of mentally. I think there is a lot to be said about that when you have the right group of guys that can make things better. Sometimes people have to sit down and have a meeting about having a meeting and I don't feel like this organization is like that."
IF YOU COULD BE KING FOR A DAY AND ADD A TRACK TO THE CHASE AND TAKE A TRACK OUT WHAT WOULD THOSE BE? "I've never really been a big fan of California. The racing, the quantity of fans that show up, I think that is less than ideal for a Chase race. I would say to replace that honestly with a place like this. I think there are a ton of great fans here. Just throw a road course in there. Swap it out. Race in some snow, whatever (laughter)."
HOW COMFORTABLE DO YOU FEEL RIGHT NOW THAT WHERE YOU ARE IN THE CHASE AND ARE YOU AT A POINT WHERE MAYBE YOU CAN TEST A PART OR PIECE RIGHT NOW EVEN IF IT DOESN'T WORK? "It's not like that. To me it's more setup stuff than it's a part or piece. It's not like we're out there developing parts and pieces for the Chase or next year or anything like that. It's more about just getting everything right. The strategy, the balance, the pit stops all those types of things and learning from the things that we've experienced in the first half of the year. We're going to go back to the majority of these races if not all of them to my knowledge in the Chase or second-time races. We as a new team need to go back and look at what we did right and what we did wrong and try to perfect the things that we can going into those 10 races. That's more about it than it is a part or piece or any defined risk or anything."
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR POSITION? "No, not really. I know the guys that are breathing down our neck for the top-12 are really good guys competitiveness wise. I'm not comfortable. I think Tony Stewart might be the only one that might be comfortable and he probably won't even admit it. Everybody has to go out and do their thing and where we end up is where we end up."
-credit: gm racing