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Behind the Wheel: Off week comes at perfect time for growing family

July 19, 2012, Ryan Newman, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

I can't think of a better way for my off week to start than it did on Monday when Krissie, Brooklyn and I welcomed a beautiful new addition to our family.

Our daughter Ashlyn Olivia was born at 12:20 p.m. on Monday. Both Krissie and Ashlyn are doing well. And I'm confident Brooklyn will be a great big sister. I think she's still trying to figure everything out.

"I may not be catching up on sleep, and I will probably be focused on feedings and dirty diapers, but I know I will love every minute of this precious time with my three girls."

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So, I'm taking the time before I get to Indy to spend as much time as possible with my three girls. I'm sure I'm going to miss them all when I have to get back on the road.

There's nothing quite like being a dad and I'm very lucky to have such a beautiful family.

I'm sure the week off will fly by, though, and before I know it, I will be flying off to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400.

For me, the race in Indianapolis is special -- not just because I'm an Indiana boy, but also because of the history of the sport. The history of motorsports at the Speedway is something I have always appreciated, and I look forward to trying to add my name to that record book.

To me, it is still awesome to be either a fan or a driver at Indianapolis. To come down the front chute and hear the echo of the car, the horsepower ... we approach 205 mph or whatever it is. Take a 3,400-pound car that is pretty top-heavy around the corner as fast as we go and it's really amazing.

The cars have changed, the tires have changed, the race track has changed just a little bit, but the fans there are amazing. They keep coming back. I'm really appreciative of the opportunity to go to the Brickyard. I've always said I love the history of motorsports and there's no better place than the Brickyard when it comes to the history of speed.

Winning at the Brickyard would be huge. Winning the Daytona 500 was always No. 1 in my book. And since I've accomplished that, I would love to get a chance to kiss the bricks. I know it would be special for me and for our entire team -- an Indiana owner and an Indiana driver winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Now that would be a celebration.

For the 39 team, a win would definitely carry a lot of weight. A second win would be huge from a points standpoint. There are a lot of drivers who are battling for one of those wild-card spots -- our team included. So we need to do the best we can each and every week to put ourselves in position for that wild card.

But that's stuff we can think about when we get to Indianapolis. This weekend, it's time to relax and enjoy the time with my family and our newest addition.

This is a pretty demanding sport and we don't get a lot of time just to sit down at home and catch our breath. So this weekend, that's what I'm doing. I may not be catching up on sleep, and I will probably be focused on feedings and dirty diapers, but I know I will love every minute of this precious time with my three girls.

Behind the Wheel with Ryan Newman runs twice a month on NASCAR.COM as he shares his experiences throughout the season, both at and away from the track. Follow him on Twitter at @RyanNewman39 and online at www.ryannewman.org and www.ryannewmanfoundation.org. The opinions expressed are solely those of Newman.