This Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 500 Sprint Cup race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway marks the end of the 2013 NASCAR season. More importantly though, it brings with it the close of a milestone chapter in Ryan Newman’s racing career: driving for the Stewart-Haas Racing team.
Even though his was a relatively short tenure, Newman definitely had his fair share of memorable moments at SHR. Over the past five seasons, the driver and his No. 39 team accrued eight poles, four wins, 30 top-five finishes and 78 top-ten finishes in their overall 179 races together.
Newman is still holding on to hope, though, that he can officially close out his SHR run with one more win, which is the No. 39 team’s end goal for Sunday’s NASCAR finale race in Florida.
So in our last #behindthewheel installment with Ryan Newman, the driver gets serious and tells us how he’s feeling heading in to this weekend. And, of course, we’ve got a couple more ‘just for fun’ Q&A’s. Enjoy!
Q: What would it mean to you if you were able to win this weekend at Homestead-Miami?
A: “It would be really special. I’ve had a great five years with Stewart-Haas Racing. I’d like nothing more than to go out on top. Not only for me, but for everyone on the No. 39 team. I feel like we have just as much of a shot at it as anyone else, if things go our way. But it would certainly mean a lot to me if we were able to close out 2013 with one more win.”
Q: Can you reflect a little bit about making your final start for Stewart-Haas Racing this weekend?
A: “It’s like a series of books. You’re not finished with one book so you can’t start the next. There’s part of me that’s excited about the future, no doubt, and getting to that next book. But there’s part of me that wants to finish out this last chapter strongly and do it in the right way. We finished third in this race last year. I can’t even say that it’s bittersweet because I don’t look at it as bittersweet as it’s just a matter of doing my job and having fun. That’s the whole goal.”
Q: What’s your favorite track to race on?
A: “Darlington Raceway. The way you drive this track, it’s rewarding in several different aspects, but it can reach out and bite you at any second. You’re always adjusting to the tires, the bumps, the character of the track. The fact that you’re running right next to the wall is challenging, too.”
Q: What is your ultimate racing goal?
A: “To one day win the Sprint Cup Series Championship!”
The Ford EcoBoost 500 Sprint Cup race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, FL starts this Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN.