News & Media


Behind the Wheel: Newman's gone fishing

May 10, 2012, Ryan Newman, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

Ryan Newman loves the outdoors so much that he even has fishing spots near some of his favorite tracks. (Getty Images)

Sport parallels the Bass Pro Shops Chevy driver's passion for racing

People who know me know I love the outdoors. I guess, behind my family and racing, it's probably my biggest passion.

So for me, whenever I get the opportunity, I take the time to get outside and work -- whether it's toiling around on my hobby farm in Statesville, N.C., or fishing at whatever lake I find. I love the being outside, and it's a love that I hope to instill in Brooklyn and my other daughter, who will be born in July.

I guess my love for the outdoors and fishing was born thanks to "Grandpa Newman." He took me fishing for the first time when I was about 3 years old. So, I've been fishing about as long as I have been racing.

"I have quite a few rods, tackle boxes and even a three-piece boat with trolling motor that travels with me everywhere I go each weekend."

--RYAN NEWMAN

With our schedule, I don't get to fish as often as I would like. I fish in my pond at home when I'm there. These days, Brooklyn's out there with me fishing, too, so that makes it fun.

And when I'm on the road, I try to find a lake of some sort that I can fish in every chance I get. In fact, I have quite a few rods, tackle boxes and even a three-piece boat with trolling motor that travels with me everywhere I go each weekend. I'm always prepared if there's a chance to go fishing.

People in the garage know how much I like to fish, so they always tell me good lakes or ponds they have found near different tracks. Sometimes I just go around and look for them myself.

We have a great little place we go to at Talladega, and that was nice last weekend. The guys on the team and I went out there and hung out and fished once we were done with practice on Friday, and then again on Saturday.

That's not the only track where we fish together.

Daytona has Lake Lloyd -- and there's a great story from there this year with me and Martin Truex Jr. We'll just say our boat started taking on water, so it was pretty entertaining watching us out on the lake. Pocono has some great fishing. There's even a pond right there beside the track at Darlington that I've been to on several occasions.

For me, fishing is just a way to relax. It just gives me a chance to get away from everything and just enjoy the peacefulness and scenery. I love the outdoors and fishing allows me time to enjoy everything about it.

My wife Krissie would tell you the more fish I catch, the better mood I'm in when we get to the race track, which could be true. But for me, I really enjoy sharing fishing stories with the guys on the team and other drivers. And, of course, there's the camaraderie of spending time with the guys away from the track.

Aside from the question about the biggest fish I have ever caught -- which was a 10-pound, six-ounce smallmouth bass in Atlanta -- I always get the question about whether there are any similarities between fishing and racing. And there are some, in my opinion.

One of the keys to being successful at both is to be patient and take your time. You can't get frustrated because that can really affect the outcome. Physically, you do have to hit your marks on both the racetrack and in fishing to be successful.

That will be one of the tricks for me to remember this weekend at Darlington -- you know, the track "Too Tough to Tame." Luckily, the No. 39 team and I have a pretty solid record at the track, so we are definitely looking forward to this weekend. It would be nice to get our car and team another top-10 finish and back in the top 10 in points, which is where I believe we belong.

Darlington is really the start of a stretch of races and tracks I really enjoy, so I'm looking forward to the month of May. I will be busy, but I plan on getting plenty of fishing in since we'll be racing at our home track the last two weekends.

The most important thing about May is Mother's Day this weekend, so I have to say thank you to all the important moms in my life -- especially my mom, Krissie's mom and Krissie. I hope all the mothers out there have a great weekend.