RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 2nd) "It was a tough run all day. It's tough racing physically and mentally on race tracks like this. You've got to hit your marks every lap and the car changes and the track changes, but the guys had...
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"It was a tough run all day. It's tough racing physically and mentally on race tracks like this. You've got to hit your marks every lap and the car changes and the track changes, but the guys had awesome pit stops for the ALLTEL Ford and that was important. That played a major role in how we stayed up front. I lost the power steering with about 50 to go and that made it tough on me, but Tony and Robby did a good job of racing me clean. They could have got me in the back bumper. I'm sure they probably would have if they would have known I didn't have any power steering, but it was just a good run overall and a good finish, I thought, for the entire race."
HOW IS IT TO LOSE POWER STEERING ON A ROAD COURSE?
"I've never lost the power steering in one of these cars before, this is the first time, so I'm sure at a road course it wasn't the easiest thing. On an oval I'm sure it's tough too, but it all depends on the cornering loads. It was tough under braking, but as long as you kept the braking straight it was OK. Once you could roll the car through the corner it didn't steer too bad, it was just maybe five times more effort than I wanted it to be." HOW WAS IT UNDER SHIFTING?
"Shifting isn't as hard, it's just that you've got to change the shift point a little bit so that you can have both hands on the wheel and still turn the car through the corner sometimes. Overall, it was tough but I guess it was manageable today." DO YOU THINK TONY JUMPED THE FINAL RESTART?
"It wasn't where he restarted earlier in the race, that was for sure. But NASCAR's got the discretion on whether that's right or wrong and I guess today it was right."
YOU'VE SEEN TONY BEFORE. WERE YOU READY FOR IT THIS TIME?
"Yes and no. You're never always ready for it, you kind of expect sometimes, but I've raced with Tony quite a bit in midgets and sprint cars and CHAMP cars and I know a lot of his characteristics when it comes to racing at a place like there where it's a lot of the driver and less the car."
ON ROBBY'S ANKLES.
"I got to ride with him in the Hummer at the start of the race and we got to talk about it a little bit. But like Robby said, once you get in that race car a lot of the things that hurt you go away. It's a mental block I guess they call it and that's something about a race car driver -- when the adrenaline takes over it's just him and the race car."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PASS TONY MADE ON YOU?
"I just didn't get into 10 very hard -- that left-hander there -- and he shoved his nose underneath me. I tried to hang on the outside, but by the time we got to 11 he had cleared me and got down and around me. He did a good job -- it was a good clean pass where he just out-braked, out-turned and out-accelerated. That's all you've got to do."
A GOOD FINISH IN THE ROOKIE STANDINGS.
"Yeah, we've been battling all year. We said back in Daytona at the beginning of the year that we had great opportunities and we should be able to do good things and I guess we weren't lying about it. So far so good. That could turn around today or tomorrow -- whenever -- but up to this point both he and I have been doing a pretty good job. We've got great teammates and great teams."
THOUGHTS ON RUNNING THREE WIDE AT ONE POINT.
"If you weave enough, you can shake 'em both off. That's basically how it works. It's tough. The other tough part about a track like this is that our spotters aren't really oriented. We've got one really dedicated spotter and you've got to have a couple around the race track. For me, not having a lot of road course experience, I don't know exactly when to look in the mirror and when not, so it's definitely tough."
RYAN NEWMAN CONTINUED -- "Overall, you do what you can and you try to keep your car out front. Sometimes you try to do whatever it takes, but you try to be clean at the same time."
YOU AND PRUETT GOT TOGETHER DOWN THE STRETCH.
"He got inside of me going into turn 11 and I didn't expect it. My spotter didn't say anything and we bumped a little bit there. I got back in the gas and we came off of 11 even. We came up and I was pretty close to the white line and we actually bumped tires. It actually almost ripped the steering wheel right out of my hands. I think it got his probably a little worse and that's why he probably dropped down lower and had to fall back a little bit. There was no intentional contact, obviously, it was just tight racing and we both kind of ran ourselves out of room."
WHEN DID YOU LOSE POWER STEERING?
"We had a yellow with about 50 to go. I think it was around lap 40 and I could feel it under cautions. It felt like the pump was just giving up and I could feel it starting to catch. From that yellow flag until the next yellow flag, which I think was about eight laps, it pretty much took itself right out and kept getting worse. The best way I can explain to you what it was doing is if you've ever played one of those video games and you hit a bump or the wall it shakes the steering wheel in your hands, that's what it was driving like. It was really tough to deal with until the power steering went away altogether and then I pretty much had what I had. It was really hard to steer."
DID YOUR CAR USED TO BE A SHOWCAR?
"Today we showed what we had, but there's no showcar about it. It was built to be a race car. Sears Point was its first race. It tested at both Sears Point and here, so this was its second race."
WAS TONY STEWART THE HOT TOPIC IN THE GARAGE THIS WEEK?
"No, he wasn't the hot topic. Certainly there were conversations about situations like that, but that's separate from what the racing is all about. That's never what NASCAR Winston Cup racing is all about and it didn't bother us at all."
IS THERE A PLAN FOR WORKING OUT WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THE POWER STEERING GOES OUT?
"Yeah, today's workout was no power steering -- we did arms. That's what it basically was about. No, I do some things -- not like I should or not as much as I should -- but I've said before the best workout or physical conditioning you can do is just drive as much as you can and work as much as you can at driving. It's just as much mental as it is physical."