Behind the Wheel with Ryan Newman: Taking On Texas


With 39 races down and three more to go, the end is near for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. For some, it’ll be a welcome end, but for Ryan Newman, it’ll be the conclusion of what’s been a somewhat bittersweet season for the No. 39 driver.

After last Sunday’s spin out on lap 319 at Martinsville, Ryan Newman lost all hope for what could have been a top-five finish, ultimately coming across the finish line in 38th place. At this point in the game, for him to have a snowball’s chance at winning the championship, he’d have to win at the next three tracks. So while he may no longer be a contender to with the Sprint Cup, he is still a contender to win some races.

That’s why this week, for the AAA Texas 500, he and his No. 39 team are planning to push forward with the best of hopes and strong determination to, hopefully, turn around some of their recent misfortunes, i.e., Kansas and Martinsville.

As everyone knows, things are bigger in Texas. But some things are faster there, too, and that certainly extends to the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. As one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit, Ryan Newman and his team know they have to be on top of their game at this week’s race. In today’s #behindthewheel Q&A, Ryan dishes on his top priorities going into Texas. Plus, per usual, we’ve thrown in a couple of wild card questions for your entertainment. Enjoy!

Q: Talk about racing at Texas.
A: “I love the speed, but things can happen pretty quickly. It’s a track I’ve always liked, although that doesn’t necessarily show in my finishes. I think, in general, the track has gotten wider and racier each time we’ve come back. It’s got less grip, but that’s fine. I’d rather slide around a little bit and be in charge of my racecar than be stuck to the racetrack.”

Q: The 2013 season is winding down. While you’re out of title contention, do you feel like you’ve still got something to prove?
A: “We’ve been good at times this season, but not as consistently as we needed to be to contend for the championship. Having said that, we aren’t just going to give up on the rest of the season. Our goal is to get back in the top ten. I think we’re 30 points out heading into Texas. I want to be one of the drivers up on stage at the banquet in Las Vegas.”

Q: What do you find most challenging about racing?
A: “I’d have to say knowing that you’re racing as a team. You can do your part perfectly, but you can still lose.”

Q: If you weren’t a driver, what would you be doing instead?
A: “Because I really enjoy the outdoors, it would be anything to do with that. Working with animals, hunting, fishing…I think that’s what I’d be doing if I wasn’t driving for a living.”

The AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup race at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX starts this Sunday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN.


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