Behind the Wheel with Ryan Newman: Master of Martinsville


This Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Sprint Cup Race is sure to be an extra exciting event. Not only for the fact that just four races are left until the curtain falls, but also because State Water Heaters will have the pleasure once again to serve as Ryan Newman’s primary sponsor this weekend.

That’s right, folks! Martinsville will be a State branded affair, and doesn’t that No. 39 Chevrolet look great all decked out in State colors? We think so!

And Luckily enough, Newman has had some of his best performances at the Martinsville Speedway short track in Va., statistically speaking at least. He pulled a win there in April 2012, in addition to earning one pole, one outside pole and four top-ten finishes in just nine races there since joining the Stewart-Haas Racing team.

In celebration of his past successes, his future successes and, of course, his partnership with State Water Heaters, let’s get down to business with a little Q&A, #behindthewheel Ryan Newman style.

Q: From a driver’s point of view, what does it take to be successful at Martinsville?
A: “Martinsville is very much a finesse racetrack, from a braking standpoint, but also the acceleration part of it, too. For me, I’m thinking about who’s around me, what to expect at the start of the race, how good the car is, what we need to work on, those kind of things. Sometimes your competition is more you than anybody else.”

Q: Talk about winning at Martinsville last year?
A: We were off early in the race, we didn’t have a winning car. But once we got our lap back, we were good. I went to go past Bowyer, he blocked and I gave him room and he clipped the curb. If he hadn’t clipped the curb, he may have won, but it gave me an opening and I took it.

Q: How did it feel to win at Martinsville last year, knowing you’ll be racing the State car there this year?
A: Martinsville Speedway has always been a special place for me. I’m an old-school guy, and the grandfather clock trophy was something I really wanted. The only thing better than one of them would be two of them. So that’s going to be the goal when we head there in October with our State Water Heaters Chevrolet.

Q: What did you know about State Water Heaters before they joined SHR this year?
A: That they’ve been a part of NASCAR for many years. I know they’ve been associated with a variety of teams over the years, and I look forward to representing them at Martinsville with Stewart-Haas and the No. 39 team.

The Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Sprint Cup race at the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia starts this Sunday, Oct. 27 at 1:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.

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