MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
ISM CONNECT 300
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 22, 2017
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CHILDRESS VINEYARDS CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed his current position in the Chase, the severity of penalty levied against the No. 24 team this past week, running the modified race and many other topics.
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING BACK HERE AT A TRACK YOU HAVE HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS AT?
“It’s always a fun race track. I guess you never know what the chemistry is going to be when you come back with the race track. Obviously, with the PJ1 or whatever they call it on the race track, it’s a little bit different than it has been for the last several years, but similar to the spring. I guess you are kind of at the mercy of the guy running the sprayer on your Friday’s to know what to expect. I think at this point we all kind of know and we’ve got a little bit of work to do with our Childress Vineyards Chevrolet in the Cup Series, but the modified was running really good.”
AS THE RACE PROGRESSES, CAN YOU FEEL THE TACKINESS CHANGE? IS IT HARD TO ADJUST FOR IT OR YOU JUST KEEP GOING THE SAME WAY?
“Yes, yes and yes. You can definitely feel it. It does change and I think it’s more sensitive to the heat as far as how hot the asphalt gets and how much we spread it, smear it and pick it up and displace it. But, overall, it’s the same for everybody you just kind of have to search around at times and most importantly if you are trying to pass somebody you have to go where that guy is not never-the-less. It has a transition to it, but it all depends on the conditions”
YOU ARE COMING INTO THIS WEEKEND OUT OF CONTENTION FOR ROUND 2, SO WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST FOCUSES AND THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THIS WEEKEND TO HELP YOUR TEAM GET INTO THE SECOND BRACKET OF THE PLAYOFFS?
“Well, we are still in contention we are just currently in an out position. So, my therapist said not to be mean to people like you (laughs). No, in all seriousness, we had a rough Chicago and just look forward to making the best of this opportunity. We have worked really hard for 27 races and we’ve got a lot of fight left in us and just have to go out there and make the best of it. The first practice wasn’t the greatest, but we’ve still got enough time left to get a good finish come checkered flag on Sunday.”
THE SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL SAYS CATERPILLAR IS CLOSE TO RENEWING THEIR DEAL AT RCR HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THAT GIVE YOU KNOWING THAT THE SPONSOR SUPPORTS YOU?
“Yeah, I mean you definitely want to have multiple things. You want to have sponsors behind you that believe in you and you want to also believe in your sponsors and Caterpillar has been a great sponsor for me personally and for RCR in years prior to me. So, for them to come back and be close to coming back is important to us. It feeds a lot of families, it contributes a lot and most importantly it’s what we believe in. That is a big step. It doesn’t mean we are full of sponsorship because we are not, but at the same time having the people back that you have built relationships and partnerships with is kind of like a combination of family and a marriage and friends. It’s nice to have.”
WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED AS FAR AS INVENTORY GOES FOR 2018?
“Quite a few. I don’t know the exact number, but quite a few. We are continually working on it like a lot of teams are, but you see different sponsors on different cars up here, there is concern for a lot of people.”
A FEW YEARS AGO, YOU MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO HOMESTEAD ON CONSISTENCY. THAT IS A WORD WE HAVEN’T USED DUE TO STAGE RACING. DOES IT CHANGE THE WAY YOU APPROACH THE STAGE RACING NOW? DO YOU HAVE TO RUN HARDER SOONER?
“You have to run hard the whole time. The way the points work there is just more of a gap now from first to 16th let’s say. And especially the top 10 with the stage breaks. You just have to run as hard as you possibly can and get as much as you can the whole time. At the same time not sacrifice the next stage for the stage that you are in. The big one is at the end. So, getting stage points and then costing yourself a bunch of track position for the next stage is not a good plan. Yeah, I think … I’m still trying to figure out how the No. 24 got all those points. And what is an encumbered finish when you are second, what does that mean?”
NASCAR IMC REPRESENTATIVE MATT HUMPHREY: “It means you cannot use the benefit for that finish in a tie breaker scenario. So, that would eliminate that and plus you lose that playoff point.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “That was a big penalty.”
YOU HAVE RACED THE MODIFIED DIVISION HERE SO MANY TIMES WHAT MAKES THAT SO MUCH FUN FOR YOU?
“Just the cars, the drivers, the people, this race track. I haven’t raced a whole lot of other modified races, but they say this is kind of the big one. So, to come here and race with these guys and be competitive and have a car that is potentially capable of winning and just having fun. It’s a different kind of racing because of the downforce and the horsepower and the lower center of gravity. It’s just a lot of fun to drive.”
IF YOU COULD BE MAYOR OF NASCAR FOR THE DAY WHAT WOULD YOU DO AS FAR AS POINTS?
“I know what it meant, but see my problem with it is he (No. 24) lapped me to be two laps down two laps to go in the second stage. And I’m pretty sure his car had the same infractions at that point as it did throughout the entire race. So, his situation changed my situation and the way we raced our race because of that. Obviously, NASCAR deemed it an advantage. So, how do you really penalize in that situation? To me it’s shame on a lot of people for letting it get to that point.”
HE ALSO WON A STAGE AND THAT IS A STAGE WIN THAT COULD HAVE GONE TO SOMEONE ELSE WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT?
“Yeah, he got a bonus point, he got points for winning that stage. I mean to me the math just doesn’t add up. For how serious some of the penalties have been here in the last little bit. I don’t know to see the guys kind of mocking their penalty from last week it just doesn’t look really good for a lot of people.”