PHOENIX (Nov. 10, 2010) — Ryan Newman’s memory is crystal clear about his last visit to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), especially the final two laps.
When the green-flag waved for the two-lap overtime shootout in the April Sprint Cup race at Phoenix’s one-mile oval, Newman jumped from second to first and proceeded to hold off Jeff Gordon to post his 14th career tour win and his first victory for Stewart-Haas Racing.
“It was a special night and a special win,” said Newman, whose first Cup start was at Phoenix, Nov. 5, 2000. “The victory gave us a huge lift when we needed one and hopefully the Phoenix track will give us the same lift again. We’ve had some finishing issues recently and need something good to happen. We know we can run well at Phoenix and look forward to another strong performance in our U.S. Army Veterans Day Chevrolet.”
Newman’s Phoenix car will have a unique look for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 as it will be graced with more than 500 faces of veterans. The paint scheme is an extension of a Veterans Day tribute to the men and women who embraced the military call of duty.
“You talk about inspiration, what could be better than having more than 500 of the bravest men and women ride along with you,” said Newman about his No. 39 U.S. Army Veterans Day Chevrolet paint scheme.
Being inspired and having the support of military veterans will hopefully change the luck scenario for Newman, who has endured a 27.25 average finish in the past four races. In the previous seven races, his average finish was 7.86.
“We were on a good run and looking for it to continue through the end of the season, but then everything just seemed to come to a halt,” stated Newman. “That is the nature of our sport and we need to finish off the final two races with strong results and carry the momentum into 2011.”
Sunday’s race will be Newman’s 17th career start at Phoenix. He has had one win, four top-fives, four top-10s and four poles.
The U.S. Army Racing team will have a number of special Arizona guests at Phoenix International Raceway.
.Luis Rodriguez Jr., an 85-year-old WWII veteran whose face will be one of the 500 on Newman’s Veterans Day car. Rodriguez is a resident of Sahuarita, Ariz.
.Staff Sgt. Steve Cerritos, a Tucson recruiter who served in Afghanistan. Cerritos is currently working towards a master’s degree in business administration and plans to pursue a commission from the U.S. Army and complete his military career as an Army officer.
.Todd Peat, a defensive lineman for Corona del Sol High School in Tempe. Peat has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All American Bowl, Jan. 8, 2011 at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas. He will receive his Army All American Bowl jersey on stage during Sunday’s prerace ceremonies.
.Christopher Sloan, who plays the mellophone in the Union High School marching band in Casa Grande. Sloan has been selected to be a member of the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. He will join an elite group of musicians who will perform at halftime in the Army All American Bowl game. He will also receive his Army All American jersey on stage during Sunday’s prerace ceremonies.
Newman’s Phoenix Career Cup Record:
Year St Fn
2000 10 41
2001 25 40
2002 1 18
2003 1 3
2004 1 2
2005 7 14
2006 13 39
2007 19 38
2008 1 43
2009 30 16
2010 14 1
No. 39 U.S. Army Over-the-Wall Crew (city is hometown)
Front-tire changer: Scott Brzozowski, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Front-tire carrier: Josh Mick, Houston, Texas
Rear-tire changer: Brandon Hopkins, Danielson, Conn.
Rear-tire carrier: James Houk, Fair Play, Mo.
Gasman: Michael Moore, Springfield, Mass.
Jackman: Andrew Turner, Coloma, Mich.
Catch Can: Andy Rueger, Seymour, Ind.
8th Man/Windshield: Jay Guarneri, Naples, Fla.
Crew Chief: Tony Gibson, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Car Chief: Kevin Pennell, Kannapolis, N.C.
Spotter: Jimmy Kitchens, Hueytown, Fla.
Engine Specialist: Jay Nolan, Jacksonville, Fla.
Engineers: Johnny Klausmeier, Perry Hall, Md.
Wes Gantt, Taylorsville, N.C.
Engine: Hendrick Motorsports
Shock Specialist : Brian Holshouser, Charlotte
Tire Specialist: Jeff Zarrella, Southington, Conn.