NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
LENOX INDUSTRIAL TOOLS 301
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT – POST QUALIFYING
JULY 15, 2011
Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart Make it an All-Chevrolet Front Row at New Hampshire
LOUDON, N.H. – (JULY 15, 2011) – With a record-breaking lap of 28.165 seconds/135.232 m.p.h. lap, Ryan Newman put the No. 39 US Army Chevrolet on the pole for the 47th time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) career today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). Team owner and teammate Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, will start alongside in the second position.
It is Newman’s fifth pole at NHMS; the sixth pole for the Stewart-Haas Racing organization, but the first time both SHR Chevrolet race cars will start side-by-side at the front of the field.
A total of six Team Chevy drivers qualified in the top-10 of the 43-car field for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301, the 19th race of the 36-race NSCS season. Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, will start sixth. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, will start seventh.
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet, will roll off in the eighth position and Paul Menard, No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, is starting in ninth place.
A total of 17 Team Chevy drivers will take the green flag on Sunday.
David Reutimann (Toyota),Kurt Busch (Dodge) and Brad Keselowski (Dodge) complete the top-five qualifiers.
The 301-lap/318.46-mile is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. with live coverage on TNT TV, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS:
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 14 U.S. ARMY CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER
ON HIS LAP: “I didn’t know exactly what to expect. They said the track temperature was up and Reutimann was fast there and clipped off a lap that I didn’t really think that could be beat. But I’m just proud of the U.S. Army team and everybody at Stewart-Haas to get our first front row together first of all, but for us to be the winning car of that and have a good start for the entire weekend (was great). The car felt good in practice. The lap itself was nice and smooth. I wouldn’t say it was perfect, but it was good enough and if we can make that a little bit better for Sunday, we’ll be in really good shape.”
ARE THERE ANY GOOD VIBES YOU HAVE AT THIS TRACK? YOU’VE DONE REALLY WELL HERE “You’re right and I don’t know. I’ve always said I’ve been blessed with really good cars here. I’ve got to thank the Hendrick group for their support and their horsepower. But it works (laughs). It’s like making good macaroni and cheese sometimes. It just tastes good (laughter). I don’t know what the entire chemistry is, but I like it.”
WHAT WERE THE FACTORS THAT ALLOWED FOR SO MUCH SPEED TODAY? “It’s a new tire. That’s one part of it. We’ve continuously, it seems like most race tracks even though the tires do change, we’ve made the cars better. When you look at the history of all the things that we’ve done since the inception of this car. I think it’s a combination of things with the tire being a big part of it. We come back a little bit better race cars and a little bit better engineering and a little bit better strategies and a little bit more knowledge and more notes where to start. The race track hasn’t changed a whole lot so we have better ideas of what to expect. I’ve always said the only thing touching the race track are the tires, so when they change it it’s a big change.”
DO YOU REALLY LIKE THE FLATTER TRACKS AS OPPOSED TO THE OTHERS? “That’s the thing. I don’t mean to interrupt you, but I don’t (laughter). I’ve always liked the banked race tracks the most. It’s not that I dislike this race track; I do like it. I enjoy it. But if you ask me to go out in my backyard and build a race track, it would have 20 degrees of banking on it. That’s just what I like. I like feeling myself pushed down in the seat and the more banking the race track has, the less emphasis there is on aerodynamics. So it’s nice to be able to get up behind somebody and use your race car instead of using the air. So, go ahead.”
IS THERE A HUG DIFFERENCE IN SPRINT AND MODIFIEDS? “The Modifieds do drive quite a bit different. They have different characteristics in clean air and dirty air. They actually create lift when they’re out front or in clean air. So when you get behind somebody it’s kind of like the old school stock cars; I should say the old, old, old-school stock cars, where they created lift and they got single file. And when they got behind somebody it wasn’t downforce, it just wasn’t lift so the car actually stuck better. So I like the way those cars race, for sure. This is a lot of fun here to do the drafting that we do with the Modifieds. Obviously when you come here and are as consistently good as we are with the Modified, it helps on Fridays as well with the Sprint Cup car.”
DID YOU HAVE ANY TROUBLE IN TURN 2 TODAY? “My car felt pretty good and pretty symmetric at both ends of the race track. There’s a 25 percent chance you’re going to have a problem on Turn 2 from the get-go (laughs). I can’t really speak on their behalf (other drivers) but I will say it is much harder here as it is most short tracks, to get the power down than it is to get on the brakes. So, you’re going to see more problems with exit typically than you are on the braking.”
TIRES, THIS IS THE RICHMOND/PHOENIX TIRE. WHAT ABOUT DROP-OFF? WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OVER A RUN? “Just in what we did in race trim, they will fall off a little bit and it’s the typical falloff that we’ve seen. I would say in general, from what I’ve seen that Goodyear has brought just an overall better tire. I wouldn’t expect any failures or any issues like that. It’s hard to say on the two-tire, four-tire thing; what’s going to pay off. It all depends. Just because of the way the tires are here and the fuel window that we have, you can see guys doing two tires with 20 (laps) or you might see guys doing two tires with 60 laps on their tires. So, who knows? We’ll see that a little bit more and what to expect in tomorrow’s practices. But Sunday, depending on your race car and what you need for track position; as I’ve always said I think this is the birth place of track position, that we’ll see what strategy really unfolds.”
HOW DOES WHAT YOU JUST DID CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR SUNDAY? “Without a doubt I have higher expectations; when you have the fastest race car you have no excuse. It’s just a matter of making it the fastest car or the best race car on the last lap, given you have the right position and the right strategy and do the things that are needed to put yourself in that position. So, yeah, I felt really confident in practice today that we would have a shot at the pole, just on the way the car felt. Fortunately that came through and we were able to capitalize.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 OFFICE DEPOT/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: ON BOTH STEWART-HAAS RACING CARS ON FRONT ROW: “It is awesome. Awesome for the organization. Congratulations to Ryan (Newman) and their guys. Proud of our guys too. We have an awesome weekend going. Ryan has won two poles in a row now here (NASCAR Whelan Modified Series) in two days. He’s done an awesome job and I’m really proud of everyone at SHR. Thankful to Rick Hendrick and all his guys-the engine and chassis departments over there at Hendrick Motorsports. They’ve all done a great job of having a great landmark day for us today.”
WHAT MAKES THIS TRACK DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS? “It just has long sweeping corners. The corners in comparison to where we normally are, we are used to having a lot of banking, but this track is pretty flat. It’s one of those tracks that you either fight entry-loose, entry-exit and nice in the center. Or you fight just tight in the center and good on entry and good on exit. It is a balancing act and juggling act trying to get the car balance for all three sections of the corner.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS STARTING UP FRONT? “It doesn’t mean anything if you wreck or if you have a problem. It’s not the end of the day, I mean you can start in the back and get there. It is just a lot harder to do it. It makes it a lot easier when you start second and you only have to pass one car. It’s good in getting pit selection, like David (Reutimann) said, passing is, it makes it a lot easier if you can start up front and not have to fight through traffic all day and having good pit selection is half of that battle.”
WHAT FACTORS ALLOWED FOR SO MUCH SPEED IN QUALIFYING TODAY? “Goodyear brought a different tire and it is just a grippier tire. What we have fought here in the past is a tire that normally chatter for two or three laps until it really got some temperature, then it would get some bite. This tire seems to just take off better. Obviously for qualifying where you’ve only got two laps to do it in, it’s much better. It’s faster because it takes off right away so you don’t have to wait for that third lap that we don’t get in qualifying”
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