NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
AUTO CLUB 400
AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 21, 2014
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed what he likes about Auto Club Speedway, the challenges at Martinsville, his chances for a win, and more. Full Transcript:
ON THE CHALLENGES OF AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY:
“I like this race track. Everybody, for the longest time, compared this one to Michigan and they were not even close to the same. They are entirely opposite. Michigan has been repaved and this is the old worn-out California, which it never was. It’s a fun race track now, and the most fun it’s ever been in my career of being here for 12 years. I look forward to it.”
WHAT HAS CHANGED ABOUT IT? WHAT DO DRIVERS LOOK FORWARD TO WHEN THEY COME HERE?
“We can get off line. We drive down the straightaways. It’s really just a lot of fun. It’s got a lot of character. So many race tracks now are repaved and have no character so to speak with bumps and things like that. We can move around the race track a good bit and have some fun.”
DO YOU LIKE MARTINSVILLE?
“I like Martinsville. I wish we had more tracks like Martinsville; not necessarily that shape. But short track racing is one of the best things we have going for our sport with the racing we have there.”
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF MARTINSVILLE TO FIGURE OUT?
“Martinsville is just so much of a factor of mechanical grip. It all depends on what tire Goodyear brings there if you’re fighting forward drive or graining on the left sides. Things like that kind of manipulate your weekend and kind of get you off-path at times.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR CHANCES ARE FOR A WIN HERE?
I enjoy the race track. I think our cars have been good. We’ll see. It’s typically been a fun place to drive and a good place to race and we’ve seen a lot of excitement here, more so than we ever did at least last year compared to the years before.”
DO YOU FIND INCONSISTENCY DURING THE WEEKEND AT MARTINSVILLE?
“I don’t find that so much. It’s just really that you kind of have to chase the tire and the race track. I don’t know exactly what the Martinsville tire is but I assume it’s the same. But you never know.”
AFTER LAST YEAR’S RACE, DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE ON END OF RACE ETIQUETTE?
“I don’t think there’s anything different now this year than there ever has been in racing for 100 years. You’re here to win and you do what you’ve got to do to win. And you have a certain level of respect for your competitors. That could change throughout the race but that’s been the same for the last 100 years.”
NOW WITH THE SYSTEM OF ‘WIN AND YOU’RE IN’, DO YOU PAY ANY ATTENTION TO POINTS NOW?
“We’re here for the best possible finish we can get. If it’s a win then great. If not, we’ll go for second or for third and so on. It’s not about man we should try harder to win or we should try harder to finish in the top 10 to get better points. We’re here to do the best we possibly can. We’ll lap the field if we can.”
DO YOU HAVE AN OPINION ON SHORTENING THE LENGTH OF THE CUP RACES?
“Shortening the length of our races would be great for our sport and great for the fans. It would build the excitement sooner. And I don’t think it would necessarily change the outcome, I think it would just intensify our sport.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES