Sprint Cup - Back in Army Car, Newman Eyeing Repeat Performance
WATKINS GLEN, Aug. 9, 2011: Ryan Newman will be back in the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet for this weekend's Sprint Cup road race at Watkins Glen International.
The last time Newman climbed out of the Soldiers' car it was in Victory Lane on July 17 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where he celebrated his 15th career win and his first of the 2011 season.
"That victory was huge for a number of reasons, including our first win in the Army car," said Newman. "It was a special moment to be in Victory Lane celebrating and thanking our Army Strong Soldiers for all they do. Once again I look forward to driving the U.S. Army Chevrolet this weekend in Watkins Glen and would cherish another opportunity to thank our troops from Victory Lane."
A victory in Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen would be another milestone for Newman, who will be seeking his first career Cup victory on a road course. The closest he came to a road course win was in 2002 at Watkins Glen when he finished runner-up to his current boss and teammate Tony Stewart.
Newman's combined career record at NASCAR's two road circuits (Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.) include: 19 starts, three top-fives and eight top-10s. His record at Watkins Glen in nine starts is one top-five and three top-10s.
"As I've always said I enjoy the challenges of the road courses," said Newman. "Hustling the cars through the different corners is fun and it's a nice break from our weekly oval races. The cars are bunched in the corners on a road course and you have to avoid spins and getting knocked around. Staying on the course is vital. Watkins Glen may not be as technical of a circuit as Sonoma, but trouble can still happen any time."
Avoiding trouble is always top of mind for Newman, who currently sits in eighth place in the driver point standings. There are five races remaining before 12 drivers begin the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
"We don't take anything for granted," stated Newman. "This is auto racing and things can turn against you pretty quickly. You can easily stumble while another driver or two gets on a hot streak. Until someone tells me we have mathematically clinched a Chase berth, I won't feel secure."
Newman will be attempting to improve on an already successful season. Along with his victory in New Hampshire, he has seven top-fives and 10 top-10s in the first 21 races. Last year he had four top-fives for the entire 36-race schedule.
"It's been a good season so far, but you can't be satisfied," explained Newman. "We're always trying new things to get us to another level. One thing about our Army team is that we never give up and have come back many times from not being that good to posting a solid finish. It's the Army way to never quit, and when you represent the best-of-the-best, you keep on battling and don't look back."