Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Indiana native Ryan Newman looking for second Brickyard win

Ryan Newman won at Indy in 2013; he's 50/1 to win on Sunday.
Ryan Newman
No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet SS

Race Notes and Quotes:

This Week’s Grainger Chevrolet SS at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
… Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 511 on Sunday at the Brickyard. This Chevrolet SS was utilized earlier this season at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Start: 19/Finish: 6) and Michigan International Speedway (Start: 23/Finish: 18).

Newman at the Brickyard … Newman will make his 496th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start when the series competes at the 2.5-mile speedway this weekend. He scored the victory in 2013 at this prestigious event after starting from the pole and leading 45 of the 160 laps scheduled. Three of the 21 Cup races at Indianapolis have been won from pole and Newman is the most recent of the three drivers who completed the impressive task. In total, the “Rocket Man” owns two top-five and three top-10 finishes in 14 starts. The South Bend, Ind., native has led 59 laps in competition and has an average start of seventh and average finish of 17th.

Welcome Back … Richard Childress Racing welcomes Grainger back on board the No. 31 Chevrolet as the primary partner for the Brickyard 400. Grainger made its debut with RCR at Pocono Raceway in June and followed up as primary at the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca Cola at Daytona International Speedway in July. Grainger is an associate sponsor on the No. 31 for all Cup Series events in which it is not the primary sponsor.

About W.W. Grainger, Inc.… With 2014 sales of $10 billion, W.W. Grainger, Inc., is North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with operations also in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Get to the Points … After finishing 11th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Newman now ranks 13th in the championship point standings and 14th in the Chase Grid with just seven races remaining before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship begins.

Last Time Around at Indy … The South Bend, Ind., driver started fourth and raced in the top 10 during the opening stages of the event. Crew chief Luke Lambert called the No. 31 onto pit road for a series of adjustments to neutralize the team’s Chevy. By halfway, the team needed to regain some ground with Newman racing in the top 20 while running tight at the start and loose at the end of a long run. A caution flag waved with 20 laps to go to set up a variety of pit strategies. Lambert called the No. 31 in for two-right side tires. Newman restarted 18th and raced to an 11th-place finish.

Meet Newman … Newman is scheduled to participate in two autograph sessions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first happens on the Team Chevy Stage in the infield on Friday, July 24 from 11 a.m. to Noon.On Saturday, he is scheduled to participate in NASCAR’s youth autograph session at 11:45 a.m. at Infield Pavilion C. Wristbands are needed and will be distributed at 8 a.m. at the IMS Kid’s Zone.


What are your thoughts heading into Indy with a new rules package?

“I commend NASCAR for their recent efforts to work with the teams to improve the product, especially at places like Kentucky Speedway. Any time you can improve the product sooner than later is good for everyone in the sport. I’m not sure a change at Indy is needed in my opinion. It is one of our crown jewels so I’m not sure if it’s a place we should be experimenting. I think we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. We’ll certainly know more at the end of day on Friday.”

Where does the Brickyard rank in the races you have won?
“It’s hard to rationalize a race beating the Daytona 500, but with all that happened to me that year, winning the 2013 Brickyard 400 is kind of in a tie with me winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500. Plus, I am from Indiana and that place is important to my state. I think the most important part of winning at Indy is appreciating the history of the speedway and the history of all the race car drivers that have competed there. To see the list of drivers who have actually fulfilled their dreams of winning there, it’s pretty amazing.”

What were your thoughts when you first saw NASCAR testing at the Brickyard when you were a kid?
“I believe I was there for the first or second test they had there. My mom and I went down there to pick up some tires for my open-wheel cars and I heard some cars at the track. They didn’t sound like Indy cars. There was a distinct difference in the way they sounded. I snuck into the garages and got to walk all the way out to pit road and saw them go by. It was a surreal-type sound because of the tailpipes and the straightaways lined with grandstands on both sides. I remember that and it was all the way back to 1993 or 1994. It was pretty special to be there especially knowing now that I would eventually come back and win a Brickyard 400.”

- Richard Childress Racing

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