RYAN NEWMAN -02-Alltel Ford YOU MADE IT LOOK EASY TODAY. "It's just a lot of hard work by the entire crew, people back at the engine shop, people at the chassis shop, have done a great job of preparing Busch cars, that's something new for ...
RYAN NEWMAN -02-Alltel Ford
YOU MADE IT LOOK EASY TODAY.
"It's just a lot of hard work by the entire crew, people back at the engine shop, people at the chassis shop, have done a great job of preparing Busch cars, that's something new for Penske Racing, to have Busch cars, and to win our ninth start is pretty awesome. I was pretty disappointed in our qualifying run yesterday, but we won Happy Hour and knew that we had a good car for the race. That was something that we had struggled with so far this year, so it was really great to be able to pull one off in the race."
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD A GOOD CAR?
"Like I said, in Happy Hour yesterday I knew we had a good car. Just how good it was going to be and what the competitors did overnight to make theirs better was going to be the key. Fortunately, we did our homework, pretty much started the race the same way we ended Happy Hour and just had a great car all day."
YOU'VE BEEN CLOSE TO YOUR FIRST WIN BEFORE. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE ABLE TO GET HERE?
"It's a dream come true. I talked to my dad this morning before the race and he said, 'You've been racing since you were four and a half, you've never gone for, basically, six months, without winning a race.' It had been since Daytona in the ARCA race that I had won, so it was kind of a long draught that he made me realize. To race 19 years of your life and not have a win in six months, seems pretty, I guess, picky, but definitely something that we looked forward to. Like I said, it was just so much hard work by the guys. My crew chief, Matt Borland, did an excellent job just getting me what I would like to drive around this race track as far as a car."
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AS YOU TOOK THE CHECKERED FLAG?
"We were coming down for the white flag and just before I got to the start-finish line I said, 'You guys nervous yet?' and they didn't say a word. My crew chief, Matty, he came over the radio and says, 'Forty-one-point-two,' or something like that, and then over to the backstretch and I said, 'How about now?' and they still never said a word. Finally, coming down for the checkered flag I told them this one was for them. I never really got nervous, just felt the pressure with that re-start there with Harvick right behind me, and I got to thinking on that last re-start, I was starting alongside Jeff Green, which was last year's champion, and this year's point leader right behind me, so I was among a pretty tough crowd."
RUSTY WALLACE WAS IN VICTORY LANE. HOW MUCH HAS HE HELPED YOU OUT?
"Definitely a lot. Rusty's not just a teammate, he's part owner of my car, and he's been so much of a help when it comes to me going to places like Richmond and Bristol, and even here at Michigan. When we talk about how to drive a car, what do you do with your feet, what do you do with the steering wheel, what to do you expect of traffic, which line is fastest on your re-start, if it's going to be the outside or the inside or how to approach re-starting a race. Him along with Buddy Baker has been tremendously a big help in helping me to understand what these race cars are really like."
KEVIN HARVICK SAID HE COULD BEAT YOU BUT NOT ROGER. HOW GOOD WAS YOUR ENGINE?
"It was a good one, definitely. Like I said, a lot of hard work by Penske Engine Company. I remember back in Texas when we had the chassis dyno numbers up, we weren't the best, I think we were third out of four that was tested, so we did some more homework and the guys did a great job bringing me back a great horse. I don't know it was any better or any worse than anybody else's. The drag plays a big part here, drag on the car plays a big part, and that could've just been purely an issue of a Chevy drag versus a Ford drag numbers."