Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 8/31/14
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Looking at Ryan Newman’s stats at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, it’s fairly easy to see why the driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is looking forward to Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In 22 Sprint Cup starts at the .75-mile oval, Newman has a pole, a win, five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes, and has led 450 laps. Richmond has been a stout venue for Newman, who recorded consecutive second-place finishes in his first two starts at “The Action Track.” His average finishing position of 11.6 makes Richmond best among all tracks for the 16-time race winner. For Newman, Richmond couldn’t come soon enough. Needing a breakout performance to quiet skeptics who have written off the SHR teams as contenders in 2013, there’s no better place to prove them wrong. While the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship field is far from being set, if Newman is to be included in the group come September, wins and strong finishes are what he needs. Just as signs of spring are blossoming around Richmond, it’s time, too, for Newman to do the same in the point standings. Ranked 17th heading into this weekend, it’s time for the No. 39 team to bloom. And there would be no better way than scoring his first “Bloomin’” win of the season this weekend. With Outback Steakhouse making the first of three 2013 appearances as primary sponsor of Newman’s No. 39 Chevrolet this weekend at Richmond, memories of last year’s spring race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway evoke memories of that fateful day. Newman scored his only win of the 2012 season at the other Virginia venue, and did so with the Tampa, Fla.-based steakhouse across the hood of his racecar. Outback Steakhouse has been celebrating Newman’s top-10 finishes since last season with a free Bloomin’ Onion® for its customers on Mondays. Come Saturday night, Newman would like nothing more than to relive last year’s April success at Martinsville – by scoring his first “Bloomin’” win of the 2013 season at Richmond. RYAN NEWMAN, Driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: Talk about heading to Richmond this week. “I’m looking forward to heading to Richmond this weekend. It’s a great short track, and it’s unique as far as a short track goes because of its length and shape. We don’t really have another racetrack like it. It’s a racetrack I always look forward to going to. We’ve struggled a little bit with right-front tires at short tracks this season, so I look forward to getting on track and seeing if we’ve got those issues resolved. It’s the first race with Outback Steakhouse as the primary sponsor on our No. 39 Chevrolet and, if you look back to last year, the first time we had them on the car, we won the race at Martinsville.” What do you need out of your car at Richmond? “The biggest thing at Richmond is it’s pretty high braking, so you have to keep a brake pedal in the car all night. But, like I’ve always said, using that brake pedal is one of the reasons I enjoy short-track racing so much. As a driver, it’s important for me to be smart on the racetrack and keep my head about me. Track position at Richmond is typically pretty important. It’s hard to make up a lot of ground there. You can go from the back to the front, but it takes a lot of the race to do it. It’s also a place where strategy, as far as getting off-sequence on tires, has potential to make a big difference. So this is a big race where not only is it important for the driver to be at his best, but the pit crew has to be on top of it all night. We need to maintain and gain positions in the pits. It all depends on how the yellows fly, too.” How difficult is it to make passes at Richmond? “I’d say this is not the easiest place or it’s not the hardest place at the same time as far as passing. It is great side-by-side racing at Richmond. I enjoy it. I’ve won there. We did it in 2003, staying out on old tires, and had a good car to be able to do that.” Talk about your 2013 season. It’s still early but, obviously, the goal is to make the Chase and contend for the championship. “Well, we have two DNF’s (did not finish). We need to not have any more DNF’s if we’re going to make the Chase. We’ve got four top-10s, and those have definitely helped us in points, but those two DNF’s just knock you out of it. It’s like getting three A’s, and two F’s –you wind up with a C-plus average. We need to have an A-minus or B-plus average if we’re going to make the Chase. We need to pull the average up.”

Report: Cardinals fear Drew Stanton is out for season

Bears coach apologizes for anonymous criticism of Cutler

Report: Wisconsin coaches never got promised car, car stipends

Derek Jeter shares sage advice on how to avoid bad press

St. Louis Rams make monetary donation to police charity

Confusing: Marlins GM Dan Jennings trades P Dan Jennings


Tigers GM: Detroit not in 'active pursuit' of Max Scherzer

Rondo channels Brady, accepts blame for Celtics’ struggles

Report: FSU QB Jameis Winston won’t attend Heisman ceremony

Warriors GM: We have reached out to Ray Allen

Twins add Ervin Santana to a veteran-heavy rotation

Jeff Fisher wants Sam Bradford back with Rams in 2015

2014's best sports media feuds

WATCH: Footage of Kobe's practice meltdown has surfaced

The Matt Kemp trade feels like the Vernon Wells trade

FOX to showcase Johnny Manziel's first start to the nation

DeSean Jackson plans to wear custom ‘I Can’t Breathe’ cleats

The 10 most expensive bowl games of 2014-2015

Women’s Tennis Association signs a new $525M TV contract

The Pistons are really bad and there’s no end in sight

Jon Gruden on Jay Gruden ‘mess’ in DC: ‘I wish him luck’

Bill Belichick trolls Rob Gronkowski over kitten photos

Los Angeles Dodgers rework the script and reload the clip

Astros book Taylor Swift concert at stadium during playoffs

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The best sports media feuds of 2014

Jeter advises on how to avoid bad press

Video surfaces of Kobe's practice tirade

Tigers GM: Team not pursuing Scherzer

Dodgers rework the script, reload the clip

Astros book Swift show during playoffs

10 amazing Heisman Trophy statistics

Dodgers trade Matt Kemp to Padres

10 injuries that changed NFL season

Twice-traded pitcher sends great tweet

Pettine 'excited' to see Manziel

5 NFL players who could be traded in offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.