NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER RACE NOTES & QUOTES
SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed the Chase and the scenarios within that, his expectations of how the racing will be on Saturday night at Richmond, and more. Full Transcript:
YOU’D LIKE TO GET A WIN SATURDAY NIGHT AT RICHMOND; WHAT’S YOUR OUTLOOK?
“Oh, this is a great race track and it’s great to be here and just look forward to the opportunity to running well. Statistically, it’s been a good track for me. In our position, where we are in points, win or not, if we just do our job with the good Caterpillar Chevrolet, we’ll be in contention to make these last 10 races a lot of fun.”
YOU’VE BEEN CONSISTENT AS A TEAM FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE SEASON. YOU’VE BEEN FLYING UNDER THE RADAR BUT CONSISTENT ENOUGH TO PUT YOURSELF IN THIS POSITION. TALK ABOUT YOUR TEAM AND WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW
“It’s all depends how well defined your radar is. We have been fairly consistent. Your radar or somebody else’s might be different. The guys have been doing a really good job of providing the good cars that are holding together, and that keeps us in that position. We’ve had issues like every other team, whether it’s a tire problem or a pit stop of something like that. But we’ve kept ourselves in contention to be ninth in points right now and have a shot at being in the Chase. It’s been a lot of fun. This has been a great opportunity for us, now, as we go back to some of these race tracks the second time. There were a few races ln there like Watkins Glen and Indy and a couple of others where you don’t experience a second race until later in the season. So, going back to Richmond and Loudon and places like that, as a team, we’ll get to prove what we learned the first experience together.”
THERE MIGHT BE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE VERY AGGRESSIVE LATE IN THE RACE. IS THAT A CONCERN TO YOU?
‘I think it’s a concern. I would be naive if I said it wasn’t a concern. But I think after what happened last year, the magnifying glasses are getting a little bit tighter than they used to be and that we’ll have a good race and that it would be good for our sport to not have what happened last year in any form or fashion happen this year, and have a great race here because it is a great race track.”
ON ALBA COLON, CHEVROLET RACING NASCAR SPRINT CUP PROGRAM MANAGER, AND CAREERS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
“We’ve done a good bit in the past; mostly through NASCAR with their STEM program (science, engineering, engineering, & technology) and math and how my engineering degree has helped me. I know it’s important for Chevrolet and for all our teams, as well, to have that background of physics and understanding the race cars. So it’s important. We’ve done little things such as scaling out RCR cars to show people how you can move weight around in the car and distribute the load so the car reacts differently and things like that. It’s been fun to do those things. I haven’t done them for the last little bit, but I have done a good bit with them.”
GIVEN THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE TO FINISH 41ST OR BETTER TO MAKE THE CHASE, DO YOU LOOK FOR THREE DROP-OUTS AND THEN GET MORE AGGRESSIVE, OR DO YOU STAY WITH A NORMAL GAMEPLAN?
“No, it’s not 41st or better. We really have to keep an eye on the No. 16 (Greg Biffle) car because if somebody else wins that hasn’t, I could finish 22nd and not make it if Biffle is second or something close to that math. So, it’s not just 41st or better. We’re in a good position. We’re here to win the race for Caterpillar and all our other sponsors and have some fun. After all, that’s what it’s all about.
WE’VE SEEN THIS RACE BE VERY EXCITING WITH INTERESTING FINISHES AND TEMPERS FLARE SOMETIMES. DO YOU THINK THIS NEW CHASE FORMAT IS GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THAT AND THE EXCITEMENT OF THE RACE IN GENERAL?
“After 25 races, I think you’re going to see typical Richmond racing. I don’t necessarily think that their Chase format is going to change the outcome of what happens in the last five laps or what happens in the last five minutes before the checkered flag. I think that’s typical Richmond. It’s a little bit different situation this year because you’ve got how ever many guys that have won a race that are locked in and they might be experimenting or experiencing different things versus the other guys who haven’t won and have a shot at winning the race and racing their way in. So, it’s just a little bit different; looking at it in two different ways of how people are going to attack the race. We’re all at times here to win, and there are some other guys who have different motives.”
WHEN THERE IS A LOT ON THE LINE AT THIS RACE, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE TENSION AND ADVERSITY WHEN THERE ARE A LOT OF PLACES YOU NEED TO BE IN THE GRID?
“I’m going to go see my palm reader tonight and just kind of get a forecast of what I’ve got going on tomorrow and see what laps the cautions are going to be and make sure we stay away from those windows so we don’t pit under green and keep myself in the same position. But no, really, you can look at it that way, but I still say that the last 25 races, that intensity, that emotional, mental and physical level that you have to have is no different then than it is now. And you have the potential for things to fall apart, don’t get me wrong, but things have fallen apart in the last 25 and you can’t pinpoint it on the one thing that happens Saturday night here in Richmond. So, you can live in the moment, but it really takes a combination of 26 events to get to this point. And what happens tomorrow night happens tomorrow night. And it can be good or it can be bad.”
OUTSIDE OF THE OBVIOUS, WHICH IS RUNNING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP, WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST REASONS THAT THE CHASE MATTERS TO A DRIVER AND A RACE TEAM?
“To me, it’s one word and that word is ‘Champion’. And that’s one of the things I learned from being a Daytona 500 winner, which makes you a champion, and a Brickyard 400 winner, which makes you a champion; those races define a race and also a championship. That’s why those races are so special. Being a champion in the last 10 races makes you a champion of our sport. It’s just the word itself; it’s what we all strive for to be that champion. You can be a winner in our sport; that doesn’t mean you’re a champion. You have to go out there and put it all together. In our series, now, in 10 races at the end, to have it be your championship.”
THE TRACK WAS REPAVED 10 YEARS AGO AND IT SEEMS LIKE THE FIRST FEW YEARS IT WAS A LITTLE BIT TAME. BUT IN THE LAST 4 OR 5 YEARS IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS A LOT MORE ACTION AND FENDER BANGING. IS THERE ANY REASON FOR THAT? IS THIS PLACE GETTING MORE RACY?
“I think its just guys doing everything they can in that last little bit. You spend 395 laps either getting frustrated or mad that your not in the position that you want to be and somebody takes it out on somebody and that’s more prone to short track racing than anything else. Why it is more so now than 10 years ago, I don’t have a really good answer for you on that. There are a lot of things that have changed between the tire and the car and the drivers and the caliber of competition that we have; it’s easier to be frustrated now with that narrowed margin of competition than it was 10 years ago. So, there are a lot of things to factor into that. In the end, its still great Richmond short track racing.”
YESTERDAY, NEW QUALIFYING PLANS WERE ANNOUNCED FOR TALLADEGA. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
“I skimmed over and read the 1-page document for us to figure out how to qualify at Talladega and it seemed like it was kind of a bit of a mess. It’s one of those things where in the end; we always say that qualifying at Talladega doesn’t mean a whole lot other than pit selection. But to me, qualifying should still be qualifying; and trying to mix in racing with qualifying is not what I define as qualifying in my book.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW CHASE FORMAT IN THIS FIRST YEAR?
“The irony to me, is that it seems like no matter what the format is, I still end up being that guy that’s either in or out of the bubble. Right now, I’m ninth in points. There have been years when I’ve been 12th in points and 11th in points. If you move the championship point system around in different years, I would have been really good a couple of years. But in the end, it is what it is. It’s the same for everybody. We know it going into Daytona for the 500 and what we have to do coming into Richmond; and it still involves winning races and whether it’s win and you’re in or win and you have a better chance and those points all add up. To me it’s the typical ‘it is what it is’ answer. And the biggest change in my eyes will be the next ten; not necessarily the first 26.”
CAN A DRIVER NOT WIN A RACE IN THE CHASE AND STILL WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?
“Absolutely. It’s mathematically totally possible. There was some sort of stat where Junior would have done that last year; I don’t know the truth to all of it. I haven’t mapped it all out. He would have I think won the championship with a fourth place finish, is that right? It’s totally doable. That’s why I said there’s a lot of things that have changed, but yet the whole win and you’re in doesn’t necessarily guarantee winning the championship. You don’t mathematically have to. We’ve proven that after the first 26 because somebody will get into the Chase without winning a race.”