Ryan Newman returns to scene of success at New Hampshire
Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013
Ryan Newman holds up the lobster awarded to the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 17, 2011, in Loudon, N.H. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Ryan Newman does a burnout while holding a U.S. flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 17, 2011, in Loudon, N.H. (AP Photo/Sandy Macys)
Much of Ryan Newmans success on NASCARs Sprint Cup circuit has come at New Hampshire Speedway. Why, Newman isnt exactly sure.
Thats actually kind of funny, because I used to say New Hampshire was my least favorite race track, said Newman, who has three career victories at the rural track in Loudon, N.H., where the Camping World RV Sales 301 is set for Sunday. But its far from that now. Its always been a good place for me. Im not 100 percent sure why.
Part of Newmans uncertainty stems from the nature of the racing at New Hampshire. Although the track is 1.058 miles, it has some short-track characteristics its corners are very tight that make it difficult to pass.
Loudon has just always been a difficult track to pass on, said Newman. And from a drivers standpoint, you want to go out there and say that, If I have a good car, start last and win this race. And you cant always do that there. Thats just a rule of thumb and generic explanation for why its not perfect. Other than that, its short-track racing. Its fun but its really difficult to pass there at times.
Thats where Newmans previous success could work for him.
New Hampshire kind of drives like that kind of track where your car is on top of the racetrack and you get everything you can, said Newman, who also has six poles at New Hampshire. There is nothing to really make it go any faster. Its not like you are pushing the car on the banking to make it grip better. Theres none of that really to speak of there, I think, other than just a little bit of our past, a little bit of our time and a little bit of us as far as the way we drive race cars.
Newman is winless this year, and is 16th in the Cup standings. But hes just 17 points out of 10th place occupied by his boss at Stewart-Haas Racing, Tony Stewart and a berth in the Chase for the Cup. Newman moved up two spots Saturday with a 10th-place finish at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.
And thanks to his previous success at New Hampshire, Newman thinks he can continue to move up the ladder.
I feel like Im competitive as a driver at all the tracks but, obviously, it takes a good crew that understands the car and the track and strategy and everything else, said Newman. Weve just done well there. Its clicked.