Ford Performance NASCAR: Kentucky Media Availability (Ryan Newman)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, July 12, 2019

Quaker State 400 Media Availability — Ryan Newman

RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Acorns Ford Mustang — HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER THE PRACTICE SESSIONS? “I feel like there are still a bunch of things we wanted to try in our race car, we just didn’t have the time to do it. Not a perfect day by any means for our Acorns Ford but the guys are just kind of going through everything and hopefully making the right adjustments for us to be better than where we are come race time.”

American Muscle

SEEMS LIKE THE GUYS WERE RUNNING THE BOTTOM IN 1 AND 2 AND LOOKING FOR MORE GRIP IN 3 AND 4. IS THAT A PRODUCT OF THE TRACK SURFACE? “It is a product of the track surface but more a product of being able to run wide open and taking the shortest distance between 1 and 2 and not being able to run wide open and looking for grip. Then obviously a distance that goes along with that in 3 and 4. That all changes when you get behind a car that has taken the ideal line and you have to move around to try to get by him.”

SOME OF THE DRIVERS HAVE MENTIONED THAT THE PJ1 DIDN’T GET REAL STICKY LIKE THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD: “They don’t know. There is now way of knowing until you have not run on that surface. That is just a matter of educational opinions.”

DO YOU THINK THE PJ1 IS GOING TO CHANGE AS YOU GO ALONG THROUGH THE WEEKEND? “I don’t know. It depends if they reapply. I still say there is no reason to fabricate the race track. You just need to design it right the first time. This race track is so unique because of the speed we carry in 1 and 2 and what we have to do with the entry in turn 3. It is kind of a mirrored race track of Texas now and it makes it a challenge for all of us. It is really tough on the engineers and crew chiefs to find a package that is good on both ends of the race track. We never really had to deal with a whole lot of that. We used to deal with symmetrical race tracks but even a place like Darlington that isn’t symmetrical is much less of a challenge, in my opinion, than here or Texas and even Phoenix for that matter now. It is what it is and I am not mad about the challenge, I just don’t like fabricating race tracks.”

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO THOUGH? “In my opinion this track was better the way it was than the way it is now. I was one of the first cars to ever test here at this race track back in 2000. I have more experience than a lot. Again, the cars are different. Packages are different. Tires are different. Hose power is different. I hope we put on a good show for the fans. It is going to be a challenge to be able to get off line and find grip. I do commend them on giving us the ability to get out of the groove and not crash our race cars. That was always the threat here before that if you did touch the gray you would spin our or hit the wall or maybe both. This PJ1 gives us the ability to move around without having to be terrified of getting out of the groove.”

ARE YOU POINTS RACING FIRST AND TRYING TO WIN SECOND OVER THESE LAST FEW REGULAR SEASON RACES? “Both. We want to be in the playoffs and have a shot at the championship. There are two ways of doing that. We want to lock ourselves in with a win but we haven’t had the performance this year to be in the top-five consistently in order to do that. I feel like we have made progress and I look forward to getting back to these race tracks a second time and show the experience we have gained as a rookie team. It has been a new experience and we have hopefully shown some progress when we get back to these places. The goal is always to win but if you can’t win or don’t think you can win you hopefully get yourself pointed and show enough progression to win in the playoffs and keep moving up. The guy that has a lot of playoff points going into the first round is the guy that is probably the odds on favorite to win the championship. We are trying to do it by winning, but if we can’t do it by winning we will try to do it by pointing our way in.”

DO YOU RACE THE GUYS THAT ARE CLOSE TO YOU IN POINTS? “I race them all, I think you know that. That is what they pay me to do.”

DO YOU WONDER WHERE GUYS LIKE SUAREZ AND ERIK JONES ARE DURING A RACE? DO YOU RACE THEM AT ALL? “I race myself and if I can do 100% job and my pit crew can do a 100% job and crew chief and everybody else we are 15th and not good enough. We have to stay focused on what we have to do to make our car, our team, our performance the best it can be. If that is not good enough, then we need to make it better.”

YOU SAID IT IS ALL ABOUT WINNING. DO YOU TAKE ANY SMALL COMFORT IN THE FACT THAT SINCE YOU HAVE JOINED THIS TEAM IT HAS BEEN BETTER THAN WHERE THEY WERE LAST YEAR? “I mean, that is comfort for the team more so than me> I am not where I want to be. I am a race car driver. I am born to be selfish and want to go out there and win ever race and every lap. That is my goal. If I am not dominating, I am not satisfied.”

WE’VE GONE A LOT OF DIFFERENT PLACES WHERE YOU WENT INTO THE RACE NOT KNOWING HOW THE PACKAGE WAS GOING TO RACE. DO YOU GET ANY POSITIVE FEELING FROM THE PRACTICE SESSION THAT GIVES YOU ANY INDICATION WHAT KIND OF RACE WE ARE GOING TO HAVE? “I think it is going to be a challenge. I think the cars are so fast and the track is gripped up so much that it will be a challenge. We are going to move around but if you move around, for instance in 1 and 2, you can’t outrun the guy that is wide open in front of you taking the shortest distance, it just isn’t going to happen. You have to be way faster and that is not the case. The cars or so similar now that you can’t just drive around somebody when they are driving a straight line almost. I think passing will be probably the biggest challenge that we have had all year, here this weekend.”

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