MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 9, 2018
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 GRAINGER CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at ISM Raceway and discussed his victory at Phoenix last year, getting used to the new Camaro ZL1 body, and many other topics. Full Transcript:
TALK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT THE VICTORY AT PHOENIX WAS LAST YEAR:
“Well, it was huge in several levels. To break the winless streak was super important for myself, but I think even longer for RCR, so that was special to get Luke (Lambert, crew chief) his first Cup win, my engineers their first Cup win together as a team was special. The way we did it, we kind of outsmarted them so to speak, took track position and held them off on a two-lap shoot out. In addition to that, we had a good car here in the fall race last year. Had some less than average pit stops that kind of held us back, but in the end still had a good car that was capable of winning there as well. Really look forward to being able to come back this year and don’t expect to win, but feel like we have a good car.”
YOU HAVE A NEW CAR IN THE NEW CAMARO HOW DIFFERENT IS IT FROM THE CAR FROM LAST YEAR? ALSO, DID YOU ALSO HAVE SOME BENEFIT FROM AUSTIN DILLON’S WIN IN DAYTONA?
“So, on the car side, I really can’t give you a complete honest answer because so many things changed when we went to the Camaro versus the SS. For instance, the splitter shape changed and a few of the small things even like the way the body scans are done and the lack of the LIS and the new optical scanning system. There are no apples to apples unless you took two cars, which would have been a waste of time for us, to a track and tried to figure out the differences in a set-up between an SS and a Camaro would have been the only way to do it. I think that all the work that went into the Camaro ZL1 was huge from an ownership standpoint of the car owners working together which is not always common, as well as, the Chevrolet people did to listen and create the car and the balance that has been fairly good for us out of the box.
“We obviously had a good Daytona with Austin winning. To segway into your answer there, from an alliance standpoint, teammate standpoint it’s great to have that success, but this is a selfish sport, right? You want it to be your own. You want it to be your own victory, sharing is not exactly a common word amongst the garage or at least meaning it. We feel like as a group the transition that we had in the off season going from three teams to two teams and being able to start the season off with having let a few people go, but then winning a race and pumping up the people that were there and letting them feel that true first race of the season, biggest race of the year, Daytona 500 victory was really special.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR STRATEGY IN TURN 2 THIS WEEKEND VERSUS WHAT YOUR STRATEGY IS GOING TO BE WITH THE NEW CONFIGURATION:
“This race as in Phoenix or this race?
THIS TRACK BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO MOVE THE START/FINISH LINE:
“The walls are going to be the same (laughs). They are going to keep us contained inside the same swimming pool. The track layout, I guess you could say, changing and the start/finish line moving is really only going to affect us, I think, for the most part the way we approach a qualifying lap. Getting a good run off of whatever you call this (points) now, because you are making the dogleg the start/finish line, which is I guess still going to be a dogleg, but the way you accelerate through what is now (Turns) 1 and 2 will be (Turns) 3 and 4 and getting a good run at that in addition to a restart zone which is going to be, from what I see, having cars going around a corner in a restart zone, which we only do really at road course races. There are a few things that are going to make it different and unique, but in the end as a driver if I don’t get the green flag here and get it over there I’m going to remember the checkered flag is over there. So, it will be alright.”
HOW MUCH SPECIFICALLY CAN YOU GLEAN FROM A PHOTOGRAPH? THERE ARE A LOT OF SPY PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE GARAGE AREA, HOW MUCH CAN YOU REALLY TELL FROM AN IMAGE LIKE THAT?
“You mean like reading somebody else’s answers on a test? Are you saying I’m the only one here that did that? So, I mean that has happened for years and years. I would say it probably happened with photography a little bit, but with technology the way it is and the ability to zoom-in and scan-in and do different things, yeah, create our own pictures, pay somebody to take pictures, why wouldn’t you? It’s one of the ways that as a team or an organization or a manufacturer we can try to create and advantage. It’s been out there for a while and it’s going to be out there for a while more because there is really no way…it’s like freedom of speech, it’s freedom of take a picture, right? There is no place in the garage that says no pictures allowed. I mean there is a balance, I think, of guys that have respect for that position and there are a few out there obviously, always, that don’t care they just want their money. It’s not exactly spy, it’s just freedom, right? I mean realistically right? I mean it’s not like we are going on somebody else’s property and taking a picture of the cars in their garage we are literally…
THE GARAGE POLICES ITSELF THIS IS JUST ANOTHER TOOL:
“It always has been.”
YOU SAID YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO WIN THIS TIME AROUND. YOU WON LAST TIME WHY DON’T YOU THINK YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN?
“I didn’t say I didn’t think I could, you are putting words in my mouth now. I said I don’t expect to. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the capability or the potential to. I just say just because I’m a thoroughbred horse and I won the Kentucky Derby doesn’t mean I go out and win the next race, right? So, I don’t expect to win.”
WHAT IS YOUR RESERVATION?
“I don’t have one. I am just saying I don’t expect to. There is a line between cockiness and confidence and you expect me to be cocky. That I expect (laughs).”
IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN ENGINEERING OR LAW?
“If it was Law I wouldn’t answer that. (Laughs).”