The champagne has dried, the interviews are over, and the crew is back in the shop. Life moves fast in the Sprint Cup Series, even faster if you’re the most recent winner. Ryan Newman captured the Crown Royal 400 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday and it was right back to work on Tuesday getting ready for the GoBowling.com 400 from the Pocono Raceway.
Pocono comes at a great time when Newman needs another victory to sure up his Chase chances. Pocono ranks as one of Newman’s favorite tracks and one he finished 5th at earlier this year.
“It’s one of my favorite racetracks just because it is so difficult. It’s really fun to drive. I like it because it’s challenging. Each corner is different – different radius, different banking, different bumps. Each straightaway is a different length. It just seems like it’s a driver’s racetrack and a crew chief’s racetrack because he has to get the car to the driver’s liking in all three corners. It’s all about matching up the combination of how the crew chief sets up the car relative to how the driver drives the racecar to make a happy package and have a shot at victory. It’s fun to have unique situations and unique racetracks. We look forward to going to Pocono each and every time,” explained Newman.
What draws Newman to the Pocono Raceway is the challenge of three corners that are distinctly different from each other.
“It’s like I said, the combination of driver, crew chief and a good-handling racecar are more important at Pocono than anywhere else because of the asymmetry. The three different corners, different banking and different straightaway lengths, if you’re shifting or not shifting, there are so many variables. There’s a lot of communication that has to be done at Pocono. I like the different corners. That’s where you can make or lose a lot of time. Pocono is very unique in the sense that there’s no perfect setup. You have to give up a little in one corner to be good in the others,” said Newman.
He will have some familiarity coming to the track with him. The car he will use this weekend is the same car that captured that fifth place finish in June and won Sunday at Indianapolis.
“It’s the same racecar we had at the first Pocono race that we finished fifth with. We had planned on turning it around and bringing it. We had no idea at that point it would take until Tuesday. What I don’t think a lot of people know is, with the NASCAR inspection process, the winning racecar is taken from the track back to the NASCAR R&D center, where they go over absolutely everything. Sometime around lunchtime Tuesday, the team then gets the car back. From that point, we’ll peel the wrap, re-wrap it with the Haas Automation colors, and begin the prep work for Pocono. The guys will then load it on the truck and it’ll head to the track for this weekend’s race,” commented Newman.
Newman and his team will look to get back to back wins starting at 1 PM EST as the Sprint Cup Series tackles “The Tricky Triangle.” The race can be seen on ESPN this weekend.