RYAN NEWMAN in the NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD was the RaybestosÂ® Rookie of the race at Watkins Glen. Newman finished second, his 10th top-five and 13th top-10 of the 2002 season. Newman's second place finish is the best ever by a RaybestosÂ® Rookie...
RYAN NEWMAN in the NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD was the Raybestos® Rookie of the race at Watkins Glen. Newman finished second, his 10th top-five and 13th top-10 of the 2002 season. Newman's second place finish is the best ever by a Raybestos® Rookie since stock car racing returned to Watkins Glen in 1986.
Newman led the race twice for 11 laps, the most ever by a Raybestos® Rookie at Watkins Glen. He unofficially leads the Raybetos® Rookie standings by three points over Jimmie Johnson (292-289). This is the fourth consecutive race where Newman has been the top finishing rookie.
"The guys did an awesome job, awesome pit stop there to get us out front with all the lead lap cars or the lead group of cars. It's a great team effort all day. The guys couldn't have done a better job for me. The guys did an awesome job, awesome pit stops, and great team effort. I just drove my heart out trying to stay up front there. Good pit strategy by Matt and just a great race overall for the guys."
THERE WAS SOME CLOSE RACING BETWEEN YOU AND ROBBIE GORDON AND TONY STEWART AT THE END OF THE RACE.
"We lost the power steering with about 50 laps to go so I had my hands full. It just progressively went away and with about 40 laps to go it was totally gone. It was a total handful from there on just to hang on to it. Tony (Stewart) got me there going into (turn) 10 and I had to race him hard. I was driving through the mirror the rest of the race just trying to hold off what I could. I had to block Robbie a couple of times but he had done the same thing to me before in the race and he'd have done it again. It's the kind of racing you have to do when you've got such competitive cars."
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A CHANCE TO PASS STEWART AT THE END OF THE RACE?
"If I could have hung with him on the restart, I had a good run coming off of four into five every time but he would pull so much and I didn't have any power steering so it made it tough."
YOU UNOFFICIALLY TOOK THE LEAD IN THE RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE POINT STANDINGS.
"It's definitely important, but it's not even close to the end of the season so we don't think about that."
DID THE RESTARTS AT THE END OF THE RACE HELP YOU TODAY?
"It helped us when (Robbie) Gordon didn't get a good restart there with one to go. That helped a lot because I was going to have a hard time holding him off. It's a good team effort like I said good pit stops."
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF, NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD:
"It was a great day. Ryan was able to keep the car in the top-five most of the day. He led for a while there and had a shot at the win. Unfortunately, we lost the power steering and he had to drive probably 60 laps without power steering. He just did an awesome job and the guys came through in the pits just awesome; we had good pit stops. I couldn't ask for anything more."
ANY IDEA WHAT HAPPENED?
"It looks like it might be a cracked fitting, both lines were tight. We'll just have to get back to the shop and take a look."
ARE YOU SURPRISED HE RAN AS WELL AS HE DID WITHOUT THE POWER STEERING?
"It's pretty surprising. I'm just glad his arms held up (laughs). It's a lot of work and he did a great job."
HOW MUCH DID TESTING HERE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO HELP YOU TODAY?
"I think it definitely helped. Any seat time we can get, the better. This is the first time Ryan has ever been here so getting seat time is just a big plus. We look forward to next year and hopefully running even better."
ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW WELL YOUR TEAM HAS RUN ON THE ROAD COURSES?
"Yes and no. I mean, it's pretty amazing what he can do. You wouldn't expect him to run that good on road courses the first year. Obviously, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart have adapted right to it. It must be something with the sprint cars because he has adapted to it pretty quick just like them."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH.
"We had an opportunity to have a really good day and we threw it out the window. We got up there towards the top-15 and the first pit stop we left a tire on the outside of the pit box and had to come in for a stop and go (penalty). We went from dead last again all the way up through there to where we were. We had the speed, with the motor blowing on us (in practice Friday) before qualifying and then having the problem on pit road just killed us. It's just amazing how small of things can turn things around and change it and when you race up front in the top-five all day you create your destiny and you have great runs. When you have to race through the pack you wear yourself out, you wear your stuff out, (and) you wear your guys out. We've got to get our qualifying stuff turned around, for whatever reason from on track performance, mechanicals, we just miss it by a little bit and it kills you. We've got to get all that back on track."
DID YOUR EXPERIENCE HERE IN THE BUSCH CAR HELP YOU PASS PEOPLE TODAY?
"It definitely worked to may favor. It was a lot better than Sears Point."