Newman on outside of Chase spot
Ryan Newman is about out of time to make the Chase field.
Newman is 15th in the standings, 118 points behind Clint Bowyer
for the final spot with two races left to qualify for the
12-driver, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Jamie
McMurray is 13th – 100 points behind Bowyer – and Mark Martin is
14th – 101 points back – heading into the race Sunday night at
Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The field well be set after the Sept. 11 race at Richmond.
”It’s a legit shot,” Newman said, ”But it’s not the shot we
would have preferred.”
Newman won in April at Phoenix International Raceway to snap a
77-race Cup winless streak, but has had only five other top-five
finish since, putting the Stewart-Haas Racing driver in the
He finished sixth in the last race at Bristol Motor Speedway and
will likely need at least that type of finish – along with some
misfortune from the drivers ahead of him – to get to 12th. He won’t
use previous success as a guide the next two weeks. Newman has one
career win and six top fives in 34 career races at Atlanta and
If the pressure is building inside the No. 39, Newman won’t show
it on the outside.
”I don’t change the way I race because of it. I don’t change my
approach,” Newman said.
He sure won’t change his car, although it was tempting to pluck
one of the more than 60 racing sports cars Wednesday on his tour at
a Philadelphia museum. Newman, a classic car collector, showed
great appreciation and knowledge at the Simeone Foundation
Automotive Museum. The museum boasts it has the ”rarest and most
significant racing sports cars ever built.”
”You’ve got the sickness, too,” a smiling Newman said to
collector, retired neurosurgeon Frederick Simeone.
Simeone led Newman on a tour of cars that range from a 1909
American Underslung to a 2002 NASCAR Dyno Mule. A curious Newman
took a closer peek at the tire on one of the cars. Yup, that was a
Penske Alltel Dodge marking on the rear passenger tire – one Newman
identified on his own, likely from the 2000 or 2001 season with
Roger Penske Racing.
He perked up when he saw a Triumph TR5 – a 1974 Triumph TR6 was
his first car.
”Anyone can have a ’57 Chevy,” Newman said.
Newman rattled off a list of antique cars he keeps at his
personal garage, like a 1928 Ford Roadster. Not exactly the kind of
car that can win Daytona, which Newman has done, these days.
Newman would love to add his 2008 Daytona 500 winning car to his
”I think R.P. is going to have controlling interest in that one
for a while,” Newman said. ”Hopefully at some point in my career,
I can acquire it.”
The site of his biggest career win may have derailed his Chase
chances this season. He was 34th and 26th at Daytona this season
and 35th at Talladega. Newman says throw out the three
restrictor-plate races and he’s jostling down the stretch for a
high seed in the Chase and not a long shot at making the field.
Newman also said he hasn’t spoken to Joey Logano since the two
drivers tangled on the track at Michigan International
Logano’s car got loose and tapped the left rear fender of
Newman’s car, causing Newman to spin out with 53 laps remaining.
Newman confronted Logano after the race, but NASCAR officials
stepped in before the situation escalated.
”When somebody crashes you and tells you you’re to blame,
that’s the end of the story,” Newman said. ”What else do you say?
… When somebody crashes you, you just say, ‘Hey man I’m sorry. I
didn’t mean to get into you.’ He never said that.”