Tag:Ryan Newman
Posted on: September 14, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 5:39 pm
 

Chase for the Cup predictions

Should Jimmie Johnson start making room for a sixth championship trophy? (US Presswire)


CBSSports.com NASCAR reporter Pete Pistone and NASCAR producer Brian De Los Santos take their best guess as to how the final Chase standings will shake out.

Pete Pistone
After a regular season that produced 15 different winners including five drivers taking their first-career Sprint Cup Series checkered flags, NASCAR is ready for the 2011 edition of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

This year's 12-driver field accounted for 21 wins in the season's first 26 races and includes five former series champions.

Jimmie Johnson is set to take aim at an unprecedented sixth straight championship, but in a season that has produced as much unpredictability as this one has, the Hendrick Motorsports driver could be ripe for finally being unseated. Johnson only has one win to his credit entering the playoff run, the fewest of any of his previous seven Chase appearances, providing some of his competitors with a glimmer of hope the dominance may be fading.

It starts at Chicagoland Speedway and wraps up with Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, so let the Chase begin:

1. Jimmie Johnson: It's good to be the king, and for anyone else to ascend to the throne they have to rise up and take the crown. There hasn't been a driver able to do that in the last five seasons and it won't happen this year either. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus know how to play the Chase game better than anyone. They put together a solid if not dominating regular season that may have been down on victories from previous years, but was not short on the key factor in winning NASCAR titles -- consistency. His feud with Kurt Busch may make this one a little more interesting, but at the end of the 10-week Chase, the story will be a six-pack for Johnson.

2. Jeff Gordon: The resurgence of Gordon this season has been one of the year's pleasant surprises. While great attention was given to team owner Rick Hendrick's decision to pair Steve Letarte with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the organization's massive realignment at the end of last season, Gordon and new head wrench Alan Gustafson have been remarkable. After winning the second race of the year at Phoenix, Gordon did cool off during the middle stretch of the schedule. After dropping as far back as 17th in the standings, he roared back and may have the most momentum of any driver heading into the Chase.

3. Kevin Harvick: He came down to the wire last season and just short of ending Johnson's title run. So Harvick feels there's some unfinished business to take care of in 2011. He was very strong in the opening segment of the season, rattling off three wins in short order by pouncing on late opportunities. But there were some stumbles in the regular season and Harvick endured a summer of some discontent especially with his pit crew's performance. Things seem to have been righted and the No. 29 team is a cohesive bunch once again. RCR having only one car in the Chase may also prove to be beneficial to Harvick's effort with the organizations complete resources at his disposal.

4. Kyle Busch: The No. 1 seed in the Chase by virtue of his four wins and place in the point standings, Busch has his best shot ever to win a Sprint Cup championship. His biggest hurdle will again be himself and overcoming the emotion that still gets the best of him at times. However, while there have been outbursts in his Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series efforts, Busch has been relatively quiet in that department on the Cup side. The nagging issues of Joe Gibbs Racing's engine department are another challenge Busch will need to conquer, but there's no reason to believe he won't be right in the thick of the championship hunt.

5. Carl Edwards: The preseason pick by many (including me) to win the title, Edwards has had a strange year that was overshadowed by his contract situation with Roush Fenway Racing and his future career plans. Now that he has settled into a long-term deal at RFR, Edwards and crew chief Bob Osborne have no outside distractions and obstacles to get in the way of a full assault on the crown. Edwards has been very good in the weeks leading up to the Chase including a solid second-place outing at the regular-season finale in Richmond and will look to ride that momentum to a hot start in the playoffs.

6. Matt Kenseth: The quintessential sleeper is back in the Chase and has put together a typically consistent year to punch his ticket to the playoffs. Kenseth's 14 top-10 finishes, seven top 5's and two victories were one of his strongest regular-season performances in recent years. He'll have to get past a few tracks inside the Chase -- such as Martinsville -- that have been challenges during his Cup career to make a serious charge for a second title.

7. Kurt Busch: Busch was the only driver to stay inside the top 10 of the point standings all through the regular season. But the bad news is he fell from the lead to eighth place after enduring a summer stretch filled with struggles, bad luck and high emotion that helped rekindle a feud with Jimmie Johnson. Busch ended the regular campaign with a pair of good runs in Atlanta and Richmond but the question of his ability to keep emotions in check while also dealing with the Johnson rivalry put the Penske Racing driver's championship hopes seriously in doubt.

8. Brad Keselowski: The other Penske driver comes into his first Chase as a bona fide underdog but one many feel can pull off the impossible and make a serious challenge for the title. Keselowski's performance since early June has been nothing short of spectacular and there may not be another team in the garage area that has as much confidence or believes in its driver more than the Blue Deuce bunch. Keselowski won over a lot of fans in the last three months and is looking to prove a lot of his previous detractors wrong.

9. Tony Stewart: Not the season Stewart had hoped for by any means, but the two-time champion was still good enough when it counted to make it back to the Chase. Things appeared to be headed back in the right direction as the regular season came to a close, but Stewart's team doesn't have the look of a championship contender and won't be a serious challenger unless it can eliminate the roller coaster ride results that have dominated the 2011 season.

10. Denny Hamlin: He pushed Johnson to the brink of the championship last season but has suffered through a disappointing follow-up season punctuated by engine problems and other issues that forced Hamlin to use a wild card spot to make it back to the Chase. The switch to TRD engines should be a plus for Hamlin, but a return to the form he displayed last year-- a combo platter of consistency and winning -- in short order is imperative for the JGR No. 11 team to have any shot at somehow challenging for the title.

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Earnhardt's somewhat surprising start to the year began to fade away as the season wore on and by the end of the regular campaign he was barely hanging on to a spot in the Chase. He made it after a very nervous night in Richmond and perhaps the fresh start will be what the Hendrick Motorsports driver needs. Crew chief Steve Letarte promised to change his conservative approach of just trying to make the Chase to a winning formula once the playoffs began so it will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the team's strategy over the next 10 races. Of any one of the dozen Chasers, Earnhardt needs to get off to a good start and not dig himself into a hole.

12. Ryan Newman: The other half of the Stewart-Haas Racing duo made the Chase for the fourth time in his career and put together a nice and consistent regular season. However despite his one win and 13 top 10 finishes, Newman had only a pair of consecutive top fives in the season's first 26 races. He's not particularly strong on 1.5-mile tracks, and with the likes of Chicagoland, Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Homestead on the Chase schedule, it doesn't bode well for the driver of the No. 39 Chevrolet.


Brian De Los Santos
Ho hum, I'm picking Jimmie Johnson to win it all. I gave up picking against Johnson a couple of years ago. It's a lesson in futility.

What GOOD reason is there to pick against him? If you're counting on the law of averages, that law clearly doesn't apply to the 48 team.

Except for Chicagoland, the Chase tracks are the same as they ever were. The same tracks he has shown time and time again the ability to dominate. And, quite frankly, he's not too shabby at Chicagoland, with seven top 10s in nine visits.

It's inevitable that he's going to fall short one of these years (isn't it?). He's not going to win titles until the day he retires (will he?). It's just not possible (is it?). But with five straight titles and another strong regular season in the books, I don't see how I can predict that Johnson's rein is over.

1. Jimmie Johnson: What indication has the 48 team given that they won't be competitive during the Chase? Sure he has just one win, but he did finish second in the final regular-season points. As we've learned over the past five years, Johnson and the 48 team are built for the Chase. The only thing I could see spoiling the party is if Kurt Busch makes it his purpose to keep Johnson from capturing a sixth straight title by any means necessary. However, Busch did say they've worked it out and will cool the antics during the Chase. I'm not quite buying it.

2. Jeff Gordon: In terms of wins, he's already having his best season since winning six times in 2007. The 24 team appears to be on top of their game heading into the Chase, with three consecutive top fives and six finishes of sixth or better in the past seven races.

3. Carl Edwards: He looks primed for a run at the title. With 10 races to go, he already has third most top fives (12) for a season in his career. He takes three straight top 10s and two consecutive top fives into the Chase.

4. Matt Kenseth: It's so easy to undervalue Kenseth. You'd hardly know that he won twice and finished sixth in the final regular-season standings. He's not flashy. He doesn't have a personality that screams for attention. His strength is consistency. The two tracks he won at were Dover and Texas, both of which will be revisited down the stretch.

5. Brad Keselowski: He has come a long way. He was 25th in the standings at the end of May, and over the course of the second half of the season he staged a furious rally, just missing out on finishing the regular season in the top 10. He was especially hot over the past two months, pulling out two wins, four top fives and six top 10s the past seven races. I don't think it was a fluke and expect him to remain competitive throughout the final 10 races.

6. Kyle Busch: This isn't the first time Busch has been a regular-season wonder boy, but for all his talent, he's never been able to carry it out through the Chase, with his best points finish (5th) coming in 2007. This very well could be the year he puts it together, but I just have this feeling that at the first sign of trouble the downward spiral will begin.

7. Kevin Harvick: I don't know what to make of Harvick. He's tied for the season lead with four wins, including a dominant effort in the regular-season finale at Richmond, but his 13 top 10s ranks seventh. For much of the summer the 29 car was a non-factor. In fact, Richmond was the first race he had even led a lap in since Daytona at the beginning of July, a span of nine races. The win was one of only two top five finishes Harvick had in the last 13 races.

8. Kurt Busch: It has been a wildly inconsistent season for the No. 2 team and Busch has flown off the handle a number of times. Like his brother Kyle, the question is whether he can keep his cool in times of distress. He has run well the past couple of weeks with back-to-back top fives, but that comes off the heels of three straight finish of 17th or worse.

9. Ryan Newman: Did you know Newman has the fifth-most top fives (8) this season? That's more than Harvick, Kenseth or Kurt Busch. He's also one of only two Chase drivers -- Edwards is the other -- without a DNF. Still, his avg. finish of 13.1 is just eighth best.

10. Tony Stewart: I thought this season might be somewhat of a struggle for the 14 team, and despite the Chase berth, it has been. He's without a win and has just three top fives (his career low is nine) and 11 top 10s (his career low is 16). If there's any good news, it's that he does have three top 10s in the past four races. Maybe the team is putting things together at the right time.

11. Denny Hamlin: Prior to the season, if there was one driver people thought might unseat Johnson as champion this season, it was Hamlin. But he hasn't come close to living up to expectations, needing a wild-card to make the Chase. There's been signs of life in recent weeks with three consecutive top 10s for the first time this season.

12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: He hung on to a Chase berth by the skin of his teeth. The first half of the season saw Earnhardt in position to challenge for the points lead with seven top 10 finishes. But over the past 13 races he has managed just two top 10s. Maybe the team was just trying to play it safe to ensure a Chase berth, but even if they were holding back a bit, I don't see him as a championship contender.



More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:56 pm
 

Chase clinch scenarios for Richmond


With only one race remaining until the 12-driver lineup for Chase is set, nine drivers have clinched their bids -- Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Brad Keselowski.

Here are the clinch scenarios for the final three Chase spots.
             
Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt is currently 25 points ahead of 11th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Earnhardt will clinch if he finishes:
-- 20th or better
-- 21st or better and leads at least one lap
-- 22nd or better and leads the most laps
 
Tony Stewart
Stewart is currently 23 points ahead of 11th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Stewart will clinch if he finishes:
-- 18th or better
-- 19th or better and leads at least one lap
-- 20th or better and leads the most laps
 
A number of different finishes affect the wild card:
 
Denny Hamlin

-- With a victory, Hamlin will earn at least a wild card spot. He can still mathematically finish top 10 in points.

Paul Menard

-- With a victory, Menard would earn a wild card spot.

Marcos Ambrose and David Ragan

-- With a victory AND entry into the top 20, Ambrose or Ragan would earn a wild-card spot. Both drivers are currently outside the top 20. Ambrose is seven points outside the top 20; Ragan is 20 points outside the top 20.
 
All drivers through 23rd place in the series standings remain eligible for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Aside from the scenarios listed above, those without an already-clinched Chase spot need a win, a top 20 spot and various finishes from other drivers to earn a Chase spot.

Source: NASCAR

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: August 26, 2011 6:21 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Ryan Newman rockets to Bristol pole

By Pete Pistone

Ryan Newman lived up to his nickname "Rocket Man" by earning the pole for Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver paced the field in Friday's qualifying session to score his third career pole at Bristol and his first since 2004.

Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin completed the first five.

Newman's teammate and team owner Tony Stewart was the 42nd of the 46 to take time on Friday.

IRWIN TOOLS NIGHT RACE STARTING LINEUP


 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:27 pm
 

Opening Pocono practice to Newman

By Pete Pistone

Ryan Newman led the way in Friday's first Sprint Cup Series practice session at Pocono Raceway. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver, who won two races ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, was on top of the speed charts with a lap of 170.026 mph. Kurt Busch, A.J. Allmendinger, Carl Edwards and Mark Martin rounded out the fast five.

The Cup Series will practice again later Friday afternoon in preparation for Saturday's qualifying session.

GOOD SAM RV INSURANCE 500 PRACTICE ONE 



More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: July 17, 2011 6:06 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 6:35 pm
 

Speed Read: Lenox Industrial Tools 301

By Pete Pistone





New Hampshire Final Results


Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Recap 

As weekends in New England go, this was a pretty good one for Ryan Newman and the Stewart-Haas Racing team. 

Newman started the weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a victory in Saturday’s modified race and kept his winning ways alive by scoring the win in the Sprint Cup Series headliner on Sunday afternoon. 

And it didn’t hurt to have his boss Tony Stewart in his rear view mirror as the checkered flag flew. 

“It was a perfect day for the organization for sure,” said Stewart, who came up a lap short of going to victory lane at New Hampshire last September before he ran out of fuel. “This is a perfect way to go into an off weekend, for sure. Especially going into Indy, man, this is big for everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing.” 

It could be big for the SHR duo in terms of the championship picture. The organization’s 1-2 finish helped both Newman and Stewart solidify themselves in the race for Chase field which will be decided in seven weeks. 

Both are inside the first ten as the season heads into the last off weekend of the year but Newman’s win could come in handy down the road if he finds himself in position to rely on a Wild Card entry. 

“Getting that win was a great bonus in itself,” said Newman of his first victory is the season.  “We've been so close so many times this year, we've finished in the top five but just haven't been able to get that win." 

Stewart isn’t too concerned that the down time comes at the wrong time and his team will lose momentum after Sunday’s big day. 

“It's good and it's bad,” he said. “It's good because you want to go back to the track next weekend and keep going, but at the same time we get to ride this wave for two weeks going into a really big race for us. It doesn't really matter either way. 

“The good thing for Ryan's team is it gives them a little bit of extra time to get ready for the Chase now. Hopefully that will lock him in, make sure that we can keep those guys there.” 

 

RISERS   

Tony Stewart 

Sunday’s runnerup finish behind teammate Ryan Newman just what Stewart needed as he tries to solidify a spot in the Chase with one of his patented summer runs. Look for Stewart to come out of the gate fast after the off weekend with a strong run at Indianapolis.  

Joey Logano 

The speculation of Carl Edwards leaving Roush Fenway Racing to take over the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 ride next year grew stronger over the weekend. Despite that pressure Logano responded in the best way possible with a fourth place finish and continues his impressive stretch of finishes that began at Sonoma last month. 

Bobby Labonte  

The JTG Daugherty Racing organization hasn’t had much to smile about this year until Sunday when the 2000 Sprint Cup Series champion kept the No. 47 near the front of the field and was rewarded with an impressive seventh place finish.

 

FALLERS  

Kyle Busch  

A week after his Kentucky Speedway romp when he led 125 laps on his way to victory number three of the season, Busch was knocked out early Sunday when a blown tire sent him hard into the wall. The impact took Busch from contention as well as the lead of the Sprint Cup Series as he tumbled from the number one position after his New Hampshire disappointment. 

Brad Keselowski  

The momentum of recent weeks came to a bitter end when Keselowski also was the victim of a blown tire that ended with a hard trip into the wall and an early exit on Sunday. The turn of events was also a blow for Keselowski’s Wild Card hopes as he flirts with trying to get inside the first twenty in the point standings just to be eligible for one of the new Chase berths. 

Brian Vickers  

A very unclear future for Vickers became even cloudier Sunday when he was turned by teammate Kasey Kahne and crashed hard into the frontstretch wall. Vickers was in position to come out of Loudon with a much-needed Top 10 finish but as he fights for his NASCAR future with the uncertainty surrounding Team Red Bull the frustration level must be mounting.

 

RADIO WAVES    

(Choice comments and communications from drivers and crew chiefs)  

"How many laps of this misery do I have?” – Kevin Harvick 

"Let's just (blanking)try to win this (blanking) race.'' – Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

"I'm lit up like a friggin' Christmas tree right now, but I've got no volts. I think it's the gauges though." – Jeff Gordon on his electrical issues 

"Two strikes for the 42." – Jimmie Johnson after his run-in with Juan Pablo Montoya

 

RACE RATING     

On a scale of one to five "Pistone Pistons" I’ll give Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 a three. Yes it was another fuel mileage race but why should New Hampshire be any different than the rest of the season. But there was still some good racing throughout the afternoon, a few frayed emotions with drivers not seeing eye-to-eye and a dramatic race to the checkered flag between teammates. Overall a pretty competitive – and snappy – day in New England which bodes well for the series’ return when the Chase rolls around in September.

 

DOWN THE ROAD  

The final off weekend of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series lies ahead. While some drivers will take part in a Nationwide Series-Camping World Truck Series doubleheader at Nashville Superspeedway, others will savor the final weekend until the Homestead finale in November to spend with family and friends. The 17-race grueling stretch that includes a run to the Chase and then the ten events to decide this year’s title picks up on July 31st with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Enjoy the break – I’ll be doing the same with a little vacation time before coming back for the second half of the season run.

 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart frustrated

Selected driver comments -- Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards and David Ragan -- from Friday's media sessions at New Hampshire Motor Speeday .

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

WHAT IS YOUR MENTALITY FROM HAVING A FEW ROUGH WEEKS?

“I think the best thing we can do is stay positive. We run good at New Hampshire. We have been kind of eying this weekend and looking forward to it. We wanted to come in here with a lot of confidence that we belong in the Chase. That we belong up front in the top-five and the top-10 and try to make that happen this weekend and try to race up there well.”

HAS YOUR CONFIDENCE CHANGED IN THE LAST FIVE RACES?

“No, not really. It has just been really frustrating. Running poorly is not what you want to be doing. You just have to keep going to the race track. We’ve got good cars. We’ve got a really really good team. We should be running better than we have been the last couple of week and we know it. We are just going to try and work really hard to get back where we were earlier in the season. It shouldn’t be that difficult.”

WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES HERE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE?

“I don’t really know. We just come out here and try to run. I like the race track. I always enjoy the racing in New Hampshire. I’ve always had some pretty good cars here and ran well in a lot of the races I’ve run here. I enjoy coming here and look forward to the race. It is good racing. It is really challenging to pass, but it is fun. Hopefully this tire which is new this time, is a good tire.”

HOW DO YOU WEIGH WHETHER TO GO FOR A WIN OR TO GATHER POINTS FOR THE WILD CARD IN THE CHASE?

“If I could win a race, I’d win a race. You go out every week, you show up to run as well as you can. That is all do every week.”

THE FACT YOU HAD GOOD RUNS HERE LAST YEAR GIVE YOU ADDITIONAL CONFIDENCE THIS WEEKEND?

“It is pretty good. I like the race track. We’ve always ran pretty good. I’ve been looking forward to coming with my new crew chief. We ran really good here last year with Lance (McGrew) and those guys. I’m curious as to how the car will drive or how different it might be, good or bad with Steve (Letarte). I am anxious to get going. Anxious to get in the car today.”

 

Tony Stewart

YOU JUMPED UP ON THE BOARD LATE IN PRACTICE, DID YOU FIND SOMETHING?

“We didn’t switch over to qualifying trim and make our last run until the last 10 minutes. That’s why we didn’t get up on the board any quicker than we did. Think we are solid so far.”

HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR SEASON SO FAR?

“Same as we did last week and the week before. We’re not where we want to be yet but we are working at it.”
 
DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT IS COMING TOGETHER NOW?

“We are just taking it a week at a time right now. I don’t know. I mean, we are just literally taking everything a week at a time and hoping we get on the right track soon.”

ARE YOU FRUSTRATED?

“I am frustrated because I keep having to answer the question. I mean, when you are not happy when things…are you happy when things aren’t going the way you like it to go? Makes you frustrated doesn’t it? So yes, we’re frustrated.”

HAS THE OWNERSHIP THING BEEN ABOUT WHAT YOU EXPECTED?

“It hasn’t changed over the last two and a half years. It’s been exactly the same way the first year. It’s the same as it was last year. It’s the same as it’s been this year.”

DO YOU EVER WISH YOU COULD JUST GO BACK TO BEING ONLY A DRIVER?

“No, I like what I am doing. I enjoy it still. I don’t know what you want me to say. I’m still just as happy doing it now as I was two years ago as I started doing this as a car owner and a driver. Nothing has changed from that side. Every week is a challenge. Every week is a different obstacle. You work hard to try to accomplish the goal each week. It hasn’t changed.”

Ryan Newman

TALK ABOUT THE FIRST HALF OF THE SEASON AND YOUR THOUGHTS MOVING INTO THE SECOND HALF.

“We’ve had a good run at the first half. Just like any other team I would say we didn’t capitalize on some of the things that we’re fully capable of. Those are the things we need to fix for the second half obviously. I’m just really proud to be where we are. We had a good start to the season and a good opening three or four races which was the first time we had that at Stewart-Haas and just to come into Loudon here, one of my better race tracks stats wise and a place we’ve always run well at is something we are all looking forward to. We need to get the U.S. Army its first win at Stewart-Haas racing, no better place. A lot of first have happened for me here at Loudon and this would be good timing.”

I KNOW YOU ARE ALWAYS GOING OUT FOR A WIN BUT DO YOU FEEL ANY EXTRA PRESSURE TO GET ONE WIN JUST IN CASE THE WILDCARD SITUATION BECOMES NECESSARY FOR YOU?

“I’ve said the last few weeks because we’ve been ninth, 10th in points we are in the best, worst place we could be because we’re in right now but we’re very vulnerable. Because of the single-race winners this year that will change the dynamic of the points. Last year we were that one-race win team that would have made it with this year’s type of points system. So yeah, there’s a lot of emphasis we’re putting on it. Not necessarily because of the points but yeah we want to win. That’s just an added bonus the way the points system works this year.”

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE WHELEN MODIFIED SERIES RACE THAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK AND WHY ARE YOU SO SUCCESSFUL?

“I enjoy the race. I enjoy the 100-lapper part of it. I really enjoy the race cars and the way those guys race here. I got to experience the Whelen Modified at New Smyrna and Bristol, a couple of race tracks but they’re a lot of fun here the way they draft and they way you have to work in the corners. The groove actually is quite a bit different for the modified than it is the Cup cars. Working with Bono and those guys, Gary Putnam they do a really good job putting a great car together. We’ve got aggressive hydraulics on the car, Menards and ECR built a great engine for it. It’s just an opportunity for us to come up and do one of the things we love, is race without the stress. We’ve won and we’ve not won here so we’ll just go out and try it again.

DO YOU SEE ANY FRUSTRATION FROM YOUR BOSS AS A DRIVER WHEN YOU GO BACK AND HAVE TEAM MEETINGS, HE’S SUPPOSED TO COME ON IN THE SUMMERTIME AND THAT HASN’T QUITE HAPPENED YET, DO YOU SEE A SENSE OF FRUSTRATION IN TONY OR IS HE OKAY TO DEAL WITH WHEN HE’S NOT RACING?

“He’s always been okay to deal with. I think yes he is frustrated for that matter I’m ahead of him in points and I’m frustrated. I understand it and I understand our competitive nature not amongst each other but amongst our situation in the points. That’s what drives us, that’s what makes us better. That’s what makes us better teammates and a better organization, to not be okay with where we are at now. Ultimately we want to be first and secondin either order so yeah, I’m sure he’s frustrated. This is crunch time and this has usually been his time but it hasn’t been this year as you stated. That’s going to happen from time to time. Everything does cycle but you don’t want to see that part of the cycle when it’s your teammate.”

 

Denny Hamlin


What needs to happen as a result of the traffic problem at Kentucky last week?

"I think overall the track has got a lot of upgrades that needs to be done.  Obviously, when they built the race track, they weren't going to put in a huge fan zone and four or six lane highways if they weren't going to get a Cup race.  They just knew, I guess a year and a half ago or something like that.  They had a lot of work that needed to be done in a year and a half and they just didn't get to it all.  I think in time they'll get it figured out.  Obviously, it has an owner in it that is not afraid to spend money and politic with the state.  I think that the state is going to be willing to make some changes and obviously, above and beyond that they've got to have a better traffic strategy because I think that kind of failed."

Do you think an autograph session with all the drivers would help to bring fans back to Kentucky?

"Autograph sessions and things like that, I'm not sure that's going to bring in new fans or anything like that.  The stuff that we do to help promote races goes really above and beyond anything that we've ever done in the past to promote races. People just don't have enough money to do it, they're not going to do it.  An autograph is not going to make a difference in my opinion whether someone shows up or not."

Will some drivers or teams make desperate moves to make the Chase?

"Maybe, maybe on the crew chief's part, but the drivers really have no choice.  If they're second or third or something on a restart, or have a shot at a restart, it would have to be within the first two or three cars.  They're not going to make some bold move trying to win from 10th-place.  It's just not going to happen.  I don't think you'll see that much difference from the on-track with the drivers, but I think you could see it from the crew chiefs trying to do some different strategy."

Do you think the drivers should be used to help apologize to the fans in Kentucky?

"I feel like NASCAR has the most accessible athletes of any sport that we have.  Fans can come up to us right in the middle of practice and get an autograph, things like that.  It's very accessible.  Obviously, I was watching on NASCAR Now that the GM of the track (Kentucky Speedway), he was genuinely sorry about what happened and was wanting to make it up to the fans with the tickets for next year or tickets to any other race at an SMI track.  That's taking a big step in my opinion. That's a good thing that they're doing, they genuinely are sorry about what happened.  But, I mean, they'll figure it out.  As far as using us for their sorry statement, that's okay -- we're willing to do that and I'm alright with it.  I don't know that it's
going to bring more people to the race track on race weekend though, is what I'm saying.  That part of it, I'm really not too sure about."

What does traffic like what was experienced at Kentucky mean for the sport?

"Well to me, I view it as a good thing that there was that much demand to get into a race track.  You hear stories and we hear stories of 10 years ago or so, how hard it was to get into race tracks and everything.  Now you hear two hours before a race starts that we just drove right in.  That's not a good thing.  You want there to be a little bit of traffic that means people are going to be filing into the race track and watching the race.  I don't -- when I left the race track, I saw this huge swarm of people coming from every which direction.  I kind of look at it and smile that the demand for NASCAR is back."

 

Clint Bowyer


IS IT BITTERSWEET TO COME BACK TO NEW HAMPSHIRE AFTER LAST YEAR’S PENALTY?

“No, hey; the trophy is in my house (laughs), and I am to have another one there. We’ve run well here. I’ve got to get things turned back around. That’s the biggest thing right now for us is just two bad weekends in a row. You know you go to Daytona and it’s bound to happen. We’ve had such great runs over the last few years at Daytona. You’re not going to go to a place like that 10 times and get 10 good finishes. You’re just not. It’s too much of a crapshoot. You’re going to get caught up in something sooner or later and unfortunately it was my time.

“Kentucky, the next week, that’s where it really hurts. That’s what has really set us back here in the points, and I can’t think of a better place right here in New Hampshire to get things turned back around and pointed in the right direction.”

YOU ARE 12TH IN THE POINTS. HOW CRITICAL IS IT TO GET A GOOD FINISH THIS WEEKEND?

“Oh, this is a crucial time for us. We’ve got them breathing down our necks and we’re still within reaching distance of the cars in front of us, so this is a good time to get things pointed back in the right direction points-wise. But I tell you, with this crazy wildcard thing this is a good track for us to get a win and solidify ourselves in the Chase. So it’s an important weekend for sure.”

ON THE PENALTY

“The biggest thing that I don’t understand about it is that it passed post-race inspection and it gets back to something that nobody understands or knows a lot about; which is fine. I was okay. A penalty is a penalty and if you’re caught, you’re caught; it doesn’t matter what I think at the end of the day. Kyle Busch was low at Pocono; and I know the significance of what that does for a race car. And it was a lot more than 60 (thousandths of an inch out of tolerance). That’s the way that I look at that and he got a slap on the wrist and we got pretty much a season-ending penalty.

“But it is what it is. It doesn’t matter. It’s behind me, it really is. It’s frustrating for me to have to come back here and answer questions about last year because I’m worried about last week, and overcoming last week; forget about last year.

HAVING TWO BAD WEEKS IN A ROW, HOW DO YOU ROLL WITH THAT DURING THE WEEK?

“You go straight to the race shop and try to get to the bottom of it and try to help them figure out the problem. And that’s where I’ve been all week. That’s what you do. You’ve got to get back to work and you’re as big a part of that as anything. Obviously they don’t know the answer or they would have had it fixed. So you’ve got to go back there and communicate week by week; going back through the weeks and try to go through them one by one and hopefully through communication, you trip something in their mind that says oh man, we went in the wrong direction there. And first don’t make that mistake again and secondly even improve on it. So that’s what I do. I think that’s what the key is, it not letting it spiral out of control. That’s two bad weeks in a row. Everybody across the board, driver, crew chief, the pit crew, over the wall guys; it can very easily become a negative and spiral out of control. But there are so many positives about our season. We’ve run well and that’s what has put us in this situation. To have two bad weeks in a row and still be in the top 12 in points shows that our season has been pretty good. But we’ve got to put together a string of good runs and we’ve done that. We had six straight top-10 runs there and two of them were top-2 finishes and we almost won at Texas. We almost won at Talladega. We can do it. We’ve just got to get back after it and make it happen.”

 

Carl Edwards


JUST TALK ABOUT THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON. 

“Okay, the second half of the season for us is about getting wins. It is about going out here and being aggressive and getting those bonus points going into the Chase and having a little bit of fun. We have worked really hard to get to this point in the season and be in the position we are in to have had the win there at Vegas and to be where we are at in points, so now we are trying to go out there and get some more victories which is fun. That is the whole point of what we do. It is nice to not be looking backwards over our shoulders right now but to be looking forward. That is fun.”

ALTHOUGH ENGINES AREN’T AS IMPORTANT HERE AS A LOT OF PLACES, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENTS THEY MADE TO THE FORD ENGINES THIS SEASON? 

“It is funny, when you talk about engines; it is interesting which tracks they are really important at. Doug Richard a long time ago told me at Martinsville, ‘You know everybody does all this qualifying stuff for Daytona but if you look at the lap times at Martinsville in qualifying, every thousandth of a second matters there.’ That really stuck with me and I have noticed that these engines have made a difference at every race track. I think it is a huge thing for us to have the FR9 everywhere. I think at places like this it is just as important as anywhere else and maybe even more because the RPM range is so wide and we are so slow in the middle of the corners and fast at the end of the straightaways. I think it is important here.”

HOW MUCH EFFORT IS BEING DONE BACK AT ROUSH FENWAY TO WORK ON THINGS FOR THE CHASE?

“There is a lot of effort going into the Chase and a lot of things we are working on now that we hope to apply then. I think that is what a lot of the teams are doing, they are working hard right now to try things you want to try that you think might work. Once the Chase comes it is really difficult to take something new and unproven to the race track. Now is the time to be working on all that stuff and we are working on it pretty hard.”

HOW MUCH STRESS DO YOU FELL WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE GOING ON, INCLUDING CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, BECAUSE YOU DON’T REALLY SHOW MUCH STRESS. IS THERE SOMETHING WE AREN’T SEEING HERE?

“I think as competitors we all put ourselves in position where we want to do the very best we can all the time. There is always that pressure there. People ask a lot about pressure and do you feel pressure to do this or that. I think I can probably speak for most of the drivers in the garage that we are very self-motivated and the pressure is from within. Those things you just mentioned, running around from race track to race track and back and forth in the garage relieves some of the pressure and gives me an outlet. I just got out of the Cup car and practice didn’t go as well as we wanted and didn’t run that super fast lap that we thought we would run and I am frustrated about it. Now I get to run over to the Nationwide car and go out there and slam the pedal down and it takes my mind off of it until qualifying. I guess there is a lot of pressure and stress and things going on, but all the running around and stuff I do is exactly the right medicine for it.”

CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE TWITTER COMMENTS MADE BY GOLDEN TATE ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON AT THE ESPY AWARDS?

“Yeah, I saw that last night and I thought that was hilarious. I thought it was pretty comical. I personally would invite anyone, including Golden Tate, or anyone who thinks that Jimmie Johnson isn’t an athlete to come out and compete with him in just about anything. He might not be able to lift as much weight as those guys but I have followed Jimmie Johnson on a motocross track and watched what he is able to do and a lot of people don’t realize how much of an athlete he is. I thought it was interesting.”

WHY DO YOU THINK THIS STILL COMES UP AFTER ALL THIS TIME?

“It is the perfect topic to debate because you don’t have to be an athlete to drive a race car. You don’t have to be an athlete to be the best golfer. I would argue there are positions in football where you don’t have to be that great of an athlete to do well. It is just like anything. There are people in this garage that are very, very good athletes. Tony Kanaan in the Indy Car Series, I would put that guy up against anyone in an endurance endeavor like bicycling, running or swimming. I think until someone goes and tries something, I think it is extremely arrogant to knock it. That is the bottom line. You can watch professional table tennis and say, ‘Wow, that is no big deal,’ but I know we have all tried to play ping pong and there is no way we could play at that level. Everywhere things are difficult. I mostly thought it was comical. I read the comments and things and it was pretty funny.”

 

David Ragan

TALK ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS. YOU HAVE MADE A LOT OF HEADLINES. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON?

“I think we have had a good couple of weeks. We have made up a lot of points to that top-10. Getting the win was big. Following up with a top-10 and leading some laps at Kentucky was a Chase caliber run for our team. I think that wins are very important for us still and that is what we come to the race track to do every weekend. Top-10’s, top-fives and leading laps are what will get us to the top-10 in points. I think everyone is talking about that wild card but our goal is getting into the top-10. I foresee there is going to be a lot of action from probably fifth to 15th in points, there are going to be a lot of guys moving up and down.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT PRESSURE? PRESSURE TO WIN, PRESSURE TO REGAIN YOUR SPONSOR, PRESSURE TO SAY IN A RIDE? 

“Oh sure, I think I have said it a lot, I have had pressure from day one being a young guy at Roush Fenway. Not having a lot of experience coming in and having a good year my rookie year and better year my sophomore year and then really struggling the last two. Coming into this season we knew we would have a lot of pressure. We have run well and we got the win and have put ourselves in a position to make the Chase. I think that brings more pressure just because now we are so close we need to capitalize on the progress we have made. Being right outside of the top-10, with the win, it is like, ‘Hey, we gotta do something with it.’ We can’t turn back now. There has always been a lot of pressure at this Sprint Cup Series level, but that is what we thrive on. It affects us in a good way.”

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE NEXT FIRST TIME WINNER? 

“Watkins Glen is just around the corner and that is Marcos Ambrose’s best track on the circuit in my opinion. I think he will be really strong there. If you look at this weekend, our Ford teammate AJ Allmendinger is really good on the short track. Either one of those two guys could win one at any moment. I know it has been a year or two since Logano has won and he feels the pressure to win. He has been running great lately too. I think there are three or four guys and they all happen to be right around us in points that could possible get that win. We are not safe until that checkered flag falls at Richmond.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WIN YOU HAD SOLIDIFIED YOUR STANDING WITH UPS AND ROUSH? 

“I think a lot of it depends on what UPS does in coming back. I am really happy at Roush and I think the Ford’s are running great and Jack is happy with the performance of the 6 team even compared to his other teams. A lot of it is the negotiations between Roush and UPS and working out the small details. I am encouraged by some of the recent conversations we have had and things look to be on the good side but like I have said, you can’t stop with what you have done. You have to keep going and that is what is important. I still think we are four to six weeks out from really having some announcements and look forward to some good runs in between then.”
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: June 10, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Ryan Newman responds to "secret" NASCAR fine

Posted by Pete Pistone

Reports have circulated that Ryan Newman received a $50,000 fine for punching Juan Pablo Montoya in the NASCAR hauler when the two were called into discuss their Richmond on track altercations the following week at Darlington Raceway. There is speculation the penalty was assessed in the wake of Montoya threatening legal action against Newman for the altercation.

NASCAR officials have refused to comment on the allegations and Newman addresses the media regarding the situation Friday at Pocono raceway:

DID YOU GET A FINE FROM NASCAR FOR SOMETHING IN THE HAULER WITH JUAN PABLO MONTOYA?

“I’ve always said that private things happen privately and what happens in the trailer stays in the trailer and there is a reason that we have private meetings and there is a reason that NASCAR does things the way they do.” 

DO YOU THINK THAT IT SHOULD MATTER TO NASCAR WHETHER IT GIVES A FINE PRIVATELY OR PUBLICALLY AS TO WHETHER ANOTHER COMPETITOR HAS THREATENED LEGAL ACTION? 

“I don’t know anything about the legal action part of things. I do know that when we are talking about fines, whether it is private or public, there is nothing really we should elaborate on because it is not something that our sport should be proud of or should elaborate. To me, it is something for you guys to write, but it is not something that is good for our sport so it’s not something we want to keep talking about first of all. In every other sport, to my knowledge, out there has it, whether it’s golf, basketball, football, whatever. I don’t know how they handle it, whether it is publically, privately or both, but, I’ll just say that it is a negative aspect of our sport and we should all be talking about the positive things.” 

 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 9:55 pm
 

Drivers comment on Kyle Busch speeding ticket

Kyle Busch


What is your reaction to the speeding ticket?
"I'm certainly sorry for my actions and for my lack of judgment.  This is something that I can take and learn from and hopefully move forward and not let happen again."

How do you look back on the speeding incident?
"I'm certainly sorry that it happened and my actions led me to speed.  It was a lack of judgment and all I can do is apologize to the public, my friends, my fans, my sponsors and everybody, look at this experience as a learning experience, and to move forward."

Is it difficult to have a learning experience in the public eye?
"It's certainly challenging sometimes with things you have to think about and of course actions that you may cause yourself. Thankfully, I've got some good people around me that can help me through these experiences and help me learn from them. Take the good from it and take the bad from it and just be able to apply that for later on down the road."

Can you make a case for yourself?
"I'm sorry I'm not the jurisdiction to make a case.  I leave that to the court systems and everything else like that.  This matter will be handled through that as best as we can handle it and as best as the authorities decide to handle it.  I have the utmost respect for the authorities across the United States of America that try to keep all of us safe every day.  Of course, being Memorial Day weekend with all the men and women serving our country to keep us safe as well too.  It's not in my place to decide what does or does not happen."

Has Joe Gibbs Racing given you any penalties?
"We have certainly discussed some things.  We're working through the process of that now and looking at what might be done later on down the road."

Have you personally spoken with your team owner, your sponsors and your neighbors about the speeding incident?
"I have certainly had discussions with Mr. Coach Gibbs (team owner) as well as Joe Gibbs Racing and my sponsors as well too.  It's just a matter of showing your utmost respect for them and what they do for you.  That they believe in you to do what you can in order to represent them well and obviously I had a lack in judgment and just made a mistake.  I'm sorry for making that mistake, but as far as any of the people that have made comments or anything like that, I don't have a relationship with any of those people.  Unfortunately, I don't go door-to-door knocking on the door and commenting to them.  All I can do is say my piece here and let it be."

How much have you thought about the potential of what could have happened on Tuesday?
"There's if, ands or buts to a lot of different things in life.  Fortunately, there was no one hurt, but that doesn't make any kind of excuse for what happened and for my lack in judgment and for what I did.  Like I said, there's a lot of processes to be thought about here. There's some learning experiences to be taken from this and the best I can do is just try to move along past it for this weekend and take my course of action during the week in what might lie ahead."

What did you mean when you said the Lexus was, 'just a toy?'
"Well it was a car that was on loan to me from Lexus and it wasn't that it was a toy, it's a high performance vehicle and that shouldn't be taken lightly.  Should be driven with caution.  Obviously, I didn't have caution and I had a lack in judgment and there's probably a reason why on TV commercials and such they always show at the bottom, professional driver, closed course.  Mine was not that.  Again, I apologize sincerely to all those affected and that all I can do is try to make sure it doesn't happen again and that I make sure that lack of judgment doesn't overcome me."
 

Kurt Busch

“Talking with Kyle (Busch) about it, I feel like he definitely understands the mistake that he made and that speed is supposed to be saved for here at the race track and putting on a good show.  All of us drivers have a responsibility as being role models to what we can teach our youth on the roadways.  There are posted speed limits and rules and laws; that’s what we have to do.  Whatever comes of it, he has his court date and things will be ironed out.  He’ll learn from the situation and be a better person from it.  I think I was 26-years old when I got put through my big episode and it definitely changes the way that you look at things.  There’s a responsibility that all of us have.”

Jimmie Johnson


SHOULD NASCAR BE INVOLVED IN KYLE BUSCH’S TUESDAY INCIDENT WITH PENALTIES OR ANY KIND OF CORRECTIVE SITUATION?
“I think consistency is the key in whatever other issues that have taken place off the track. There should be a precedent there and that’s how they engage and interact. I don’t know how to really form an opinion on that. You’ve got to get into the fine print of the rule book. I think I’m learning a little bit through this as well. You don’t need a valid driver’s license to compete, is that correct? It’s in there and when you have leagues and players unions and things there are penalties that are usually passed along and make sense because you are part of a league, we’re not in that situation. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer and I’m kind of watching and learning as we go here just to see what it is.”

IN REGARDS TO KYLE BUSCH, WITH WHAT YOU GUYS DO FOR A LIVING DO YOU GUYS JUST KIND OF MAKE THESE WEIRD DECISIONS SOME TIMES?
“Yeah, we as drivers aren’t necessarily wired the same but I’d have to say anybody that buys a high performance vehicle gets in it and stands on the gas. Maybe not in the same situation but that’s why you buy whatever car. I’ve always joked with my friends and I have a collection of old cars that I cruise around in because I’ve always felt if I have an exotic sports car I would be doing stupid things and I don’t need to do that. I drove my ’49 Chevy Step-side pickup here today and I don’t think I broke 65 on the way up, just kind of cruising with the windows down and enjoyed the ride. It’s tempting especially when we have the skill sets that we do as drivers and you get a high performance car and you just want to see how it stacks up. Man I guess everybody that has a high performance car stands on the throttle at some point. I’m not trying to justify what he did, but we can all look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we’ve wondered what it felt like to stand on the gas pedal.”

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO GO 200 MILES PER HOUR OUT HERE AND HAVE TO GO BACK HOME AND DRIVE 35 MILES PER HOUR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD OR WHEN YOU GET STUCK IN TRAFFIC?
“For me there is certainly a huge sensation of speed on the track and some tracks like Darlington or Dover really exaggerate that sensation. But for me, it’s about passing someone. As long as I’m going by someone, if they are doing 35 and I’m doing 37 I seem to be pretty content there and haven’t had many issues with the law.”


Ryan Newman


DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE A NASCAR SANCTION AGAINST A DRIVER WHO WAS CHARGED, AS KYLE BUSCH WAS CHARGED WITH SPEEDING THIS WEEK?
“If you don’t have to have a driver’s license to compete in the series, then what happens on the street has no affect as to what happens on the race track in my opinion. That’s what you hold a driver’s license for. If he’s charged criminally, then that’s a different situation, right? Versus being charged with a driver-related issue. Maybe that makes sense, I don’t know.”

BACK TO THE KYLE SITUATION. WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT IN REGARDS TO CRIMINAL AS OPPOSED TO A LICENSE, AN ACTION IS AN ACTION? SECONDLY THERE IS A LOT OF RUSH ON THE PUBLIC’S BEHALF FOR SOME KIND OF JUDGEMENT, SOME KIND OF ACTION UPON THIS, DOES IT NEED TO GO THROUGH THE COURTS AND WAIT OR DOES SOMETHING NEED TO BE HAPPENING UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU COULD BE IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT, NOT SAYING YOU WOULD, BUT FATE, BUT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED, IT WOULD BE COMING DOWN ON YOU?
“My point about the license part of it is if you don’t have to have a driver’s license to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, then, no matter what, it’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) related in my opinion. If he would have clobbered a mail box at 128, then that is a Federal situation. There are different ways of looking at it is my point. If something was to happen to it…it is just a private car incident that has no affect on his eligibility to drive a Sprint Cup car or a Nationwide car. But, to me, it is a very gray area in reference to the police officer and what he did as to how he got away as clean as he did. I think that is probably your judgment question. If it was you running 128 in a 45, would he have treated you the same way? Every officer has to answer that question a different way depending on who he is dealing with.”

THE NEXT THING PEOPLE WILL LOOK AT WILL BE THE TEAM OR SPONSORS, SHOULD THEY ACT BEFORE IT GOES THROUGH THE COURT PROCESS OR SHOULD HE BE ALLOWED TO GO THROUGH THE COURT PROCESS AND WHAT’S DETERMINED THERE BEFORE ANY KIND OF DISCIPLINE TAKES PLACE?
“It’s just as you said. It’s a judgment situation where I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. In multiple people’s eyes, is Joe Gibbs going to react to it in the same way that M&M’s or Interstate or anybody else does, I don’t know. That’s not for me to judge. I believe that he made a big mistake, he openly admitted that he made a big mistake from what I read although it sounded like somebody else wrote it and not him. We’re supposed to be professional race car drivers and by being professional race car drivers we don’t make stupid mistakes like that on the road. That’s the way I look at it.”

Jeff Gordon

Do you think NASCAR should penalize Kyle Busch for his speeding violation the other day?
"No, I don't.  You know, I think it's pretty clear if they feel like it's detrimental to the sport, then maybe they should or could.  But in my opinion that's not detrimental to the sport.  I think it's more detrimental to Kyle than anything else.  I think it's something that should be handled separately away from the sport."

Is there an urge for somebody in your profession to just want to drive fast all the time no matter where you're at?
"I've always kind of had the approach of I get it out of my system on the weekends.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't want you to think I'm perfect.  I've been speeding before.  But certainly the way I look at it today as a parent, I look at things different.

"I do think of the 'what if's.'  I told somebody this the other day.  If I'm going down a fairly narrow country road and I see houses and yards, I think of that ball running out in the street and that kid chasing after it.  That's because I'm a parent.  You think a little bit more responsibly."

Greg Biffle

HAVE YOU EVER RECEIVED A SPEEDING TICKET?

“That’s a loaded question (laughing).  In my younger days I have driven a little faster, probably, than I should have a time or two.  I never got pulled over or never got a ticket for doing that, but the fastest I’ve gotten stopped is maybe 85 or 90 – something like that.  I think I got pulled over going 90 out in California.  I was on my way to the desert one time, going through the desert with tumbleweeds and was on Highway 8 or something like that.  That was probably the fastest I ever got a ticket for, but there is obviously a time and a place for going a little bit faster than we should at times.  You just have to watch your P’s and Q’s.” 

DO YOU WATCH IT MORE CAREFULLY BECAUSE YOU’RE A NASCAR DRIVER? 

“I do.  I will always make sure I take advantage of the nine miles an hour over the speed limit, but, beyond that, you have to be careful how fast you go.  Certainly, you don’t want to cause an accident because that’s probably the worst thing to have in the newspaper being a NASCAR driver, so you have to take a little precaution when you’re on the road around other cars.” 

Matt Kenseth


"My first reaction is I was wondering if he was in jail.  My second reaction is, when I heard where it was, I thought it was probably a little extreme for that road, but, other than that, I didn’t think about it.  I’m glad somebody didn’t get hurt.”  

Dale Earnhardt Jr.


“Sometimes you go a little fast, even away from the race track I guess. I’ve been guilty of the same thing myself just been lucky enough not to get caught.”

“I don’t really know if I got that fast, I didn’t know if we had enough straight road in North Carolina to get going that quick, but, apparently there is a piece somewhere (LAUGHS).”

Kevin Harvick


“I think some people are their own worst enemy when it comes to being responsible as a person or as a business person or anything that comes with life’s responsibilities. For me, they won’t even let me drive down the highway because I drive five miles per hour over the speed limit and it tends to take us a lot longer to get to places. Since I’ve been about 16 or 17 years old, I haven’t been into really driving fast down the highway or anything reckless on the road. It’s not really the place to do that. I don’t really know how to answer that to be honest with you because I’ve never driven a vehicle 120 plus down the highway. It could put a lot of people in a bad situation and I think Newton’s article probably touched the outcomes of how things could work this week.”

More NASCAR coverage



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com