News & Media


Behind the Wheel: Newman addresses burning questions

August 02, 2012, Ryan Newman, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

Ryan Newman just added a new baby to his family, and he is in talks that will decide whether he stays at his work family at SHR. (Getty)

I thought I would start out this week by going ahead and answering the two biggest questions I'm getting these days -- well, other than how my wife Krissie and the girls are doing.

I'll go ahead and answer that one. Krissie and both Brooklyn and Ashlyn are doing great. Brooklyn is a great big sister to Ashlyn, and we're all very healthy and happy.

"I want to keep doing what I'm doing. Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have given me a great opportunity. Right now, we are just working through all the details."

--RYAN NEWMAN

Anyhow, it's the other two questions I'm answering a lot that I thought I would address: My thoughts on the No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing team earning a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, and my contract status.

So, in case you haven't heard me talk about either topic recently, I'll give you a recap of my thoughts and where I am on both issues.

Obviously, we know we're locked in a battle to get one of the wild-card spots. We had hoped to be in the top-10 and not have to fall back on our win at Martinsville. But that, unfortunately, doesn't look to be the case right now. I think we all know we need to get another win.

Still, I'm not necessarily doing anything differently. Every time we come to the racetrack, my goal is to win the race. There's no doubt about that. And that's what my focus is each week. I'm going to the track to win and, hopefully, we can do that and we can get a spot in this Chase. I do what I have to do to try to get the best finish I can, and that is each and every week. And I know crew chief Tony Gibson and the guys on the Haas Automation team are doing what they can to make that happen, too.

Will we take risks to win a race? That's Tony Gibson's job to make those calls. And when he feels like we have the opportunity to do something that's going to make a difference and not jeopardize what we have going on, then he's going to do that. We made a difference at New Hampshire last year by gambling on tire and fuel strategy and we won the race. We'll see if we can do it again, and don't be surprised if we do.

We know we are in a lot of company -- drivers who have two wins or one win or even no wins who aren't in the top-10 and who are doing everything they can to get into the top-10 in points and win races. We know that we are going to have to work our tails off and bring our best bullet each week for the next six weeks, and that's just what we are going to do. Our goal from day one has been to make the Chase, and that hasn't changed.

As for the other question about my contract, the answer is simple -- I'm happy where I'm at with Stewart-Haas Racing. I want to keep doing what I'm doing. Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have given me a great opportunity. Right now, we are just working through all the details.

Now that I've got that all out of the way, it's time to turn my attention to Pocono, where when I'm not on track, you will find me fishing. It's probably one of my favorite stops on the circuit because of the great lakes and ponds right near the track. I spend countless hours there during the weekend -- rain or shine. And I can't wait.

It would be nice if I could reel in a big fish or two, as well as a win this weekend.

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.