Tag: Stewart-Haas Racing

Newman Rocketing To Break A Record At Atlanta

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Coming into this weekend’s AdvoCare 500 Ryan Newman is looking past the awkwardness of this past week and onto breaking a record he holds with a friend. Newman and Buddy Baker are tied atop the all-time lead for poles with seven apiece.

“Buddy Baker has been a good friend and mentor to me since I got my opportunity to race stock cars with Penske Racing back in 2000. He was someone I had admired and, when I got to know him, we had a lot in common and really enjoyed each other. I still talk to him pretty frequently – we both have a lot of stories about each other, which we won’t get into – and we have fun. A lot of people have heard me tell the stories about how and what Buddy taught me, but it’s something that’s pretty cool and has been really important to my career. Buddy and I would go to racetracks and we would take our rental car out on the tracks at tests and drive around the racetracks forward and backward. Driving the tracks backward gave me a different perspective of the entry and exit points of each corner. What Buddy did was teach me how to approach those areas on the racetrack when I was driving the track the right way. Atlanta was a track that he helped me with a lot. Back when I tied him for the pole record, I think he joked that he shouldn’t have taught me quite so well,” explained Newman.

He continued discussing the impact that Baker had on his career. “To be honest, though, Buddy probably helped me more than I realized at the time because he never told me what to do – he told me what not to do. He would never tell me when I was doing something right, but he always told me what I was doing wrong because he wanted me to learn from my mistakes. He was an amazing teacher and I count myself very lucky to have Buddy as a friend and mentor. Teaching me the things not to do rather than the things to do made a big difference and a big impact. If I could not make some of those same mistakes he did that cost him a shot at a victory and to make an addition to his resume, those were things that were going to help my resume.”

Bottom line is pole or no pole, they need to be up front when the checkered flag flies on Sunday. “I think we’ll be good in Atlanta.  It’s obviously very important for us to have a strong finish this weekend to keep climbing in the point standings. We need to focus on having good, strong runs in these next two races. If we can do that, then we’ll have a chance to compete for the championship.”

The action gets underway for the AdvoCare 500 Sunday night at 7:30. All the action from the Atlanta Motor Speedway can be seen on ESPN.

Rough Road To Start With Martin And SHR

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It was an ugly 20th place finish last weekend for Mark Martin and the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet team. In his first race subbing for the injured Tony Stewart, Martin didn’t quite have the handle on the car for the finish many expected.

“We struggled at the beginning of the race hitting the racetrack really, really bad and then we had some tough luck and a few things that we could’ve done better, but we were pretty fast at the end. That’s why I went home feeling good about it because we were able to improve the car and get it competitive and that’s hard to do with the short pit stops that we get at Bristol. The guys did a good job. I think we’ll be better this week at Atlanta and as the next few weeks unfold. Our practice time was so short at Bristol and we had so much trouble, we just needed another day to be ready. The positive is the guys did a great job. We were way off in the beginning and at the end we were a top-10 car,” commented Martin.

Some, me included, believed that Martin could just jump into this car and get to the front. Martin is used to challenges and will not back down from this one.

“It certainly is hard and it’s challenging, but challenges are good for me. They push me hard. They drive me hard, and I will do everything I can to step up to the plate and dig in. But it is a new situation, and it’s not like you sign on with a new team in November and you have January and February to get to know each other before you go off racing. We were faced with racing together in just a few days. I felt like we did a pretty good job given the short amount of time we had together,” explained Martin.

The biggest thing Martin and his team need is to keep working together. Earlier in the week they were able to test at the Richmond International Raceway, which will help communication.

“I’ve just got to have some more time. Being familiar with all this stuff may be a little over-rated, but to be real honest with you, I was quite challenged in Bristol and I don’t feel like I was able to rise to the challenge. We learned so much and even if we just had one more day before last week’s race to work together a little bit, it would’ve helped us a ton. It’s just a matter of time,” said Martin.

The action gets underway for the AdvoCare 500 Sunday night at 7:30. All the action from the Atlanta Motor Speedway can be seen on ESPN.

Patrick Feeling More Confident Running Atlanta

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Sitting 27th in points might not be where Danica Patrick envisioned she would be at this point in the season, but now that we’re hitting tracks for the second time her finishes should improve. Building that playbook of notes she and crew chief Tony Gibson can use.

“The first time I raced there (Atlanta) was last year and I did both Nationwide and (Sprint) Cup. That seems like a long time ago and that was only my fifth Cup start, so I feel a little more confident and knowledgeable than I did a year ago. It’s a fast place. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. It’s a big weekend with a lot going on for GoDaddy, Coke Zero and Chevrolet, so there’s a lot off the track, as well. But I’m looking forward to it,” commented Patrick.

Something that will help her this weekend and until the end of the year will be having veteran Mark Martin as a teammate while her owner and teammate Tony Stewart is recovering from a broken leg. Patrick can lean on his years of experience at these tracks. This was seen this past week during a test session at the Richmond International Raceway.

“The test went really well. And I’ve always been happy to have other drivers in my car at a test, especially someone like Mark with all his experience. For me, as a rookie, I think it’s important to get a different perspective and get someone else’s thoughts. Mark has so much experience and he’s been so helpful to me, even before we were teammates, so I was happy to have him in the car. Anything that will make me better and SHR better as a whole, I’m all for,” explained Patrick.

Speaking of Stewart, she was able to visit him this past week. “I went and saw him last week and he is progressively getting better. We were joking about how he has to go to the hospital to get a check-up and how the ambulance comes, and they bring him out on a stretcher. Poor guy. But he was in good spirits and he was definitely of the mindset that he needs to do it right, and do rehab right. You know, they hope that he can be back in January. And if he does, he is like, ‘I don’t need to be back any sooner, so let’s just do this right.’ I think that is the right attitude. I think he is in a really good place – as good of a place as you can be with many incisions in your leg.”

Looking towards 2014 Patrick is excited about the recent announcement that Kurt Busch would be joining the Stewart-Haas Racing team. “I’m excited. I have known Kurt for a long time. It goes all the way back to when he drove an IndyCar (in 2003) at Sebring (Fla.), I believe. He drove a Rahal Letterman car and I was there watching that day. I’ve always really liked him and got along really well with him. We’ve never had any problems on the track at all, so we have a good working relationship, for sure. I always like having more people to look at as far as their styles. With a four-car team, there are more engineers, there are more crew chiefs, and more people around to develop things. For me I think it’s a great thing.”

The action gets underway for the AdvoCare 500 Sunday night at 7:30. All the action from the Atlanta Motor Speedway can be seen on ESPN.

Newman Looking To Channel His Inner Bowyer

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It seems odd on the outside, but Ryan Newman is hoping he can become Clint Bowyer. Ok, let me explain this a bit more. To set the scene we have to venture back to 2011, so let’s get in the time machine and go.

Nearing the end of the 2011 season, Clint Bowyer was a hot topic in the garage. His sponsor at Richard Childress Racing, General Mills, was looking to reduce their schedule in sponsoring the #33 Chevrolet Bowyer was piloting. To help out Bowyer was able to get 5-Hour Energy on board with moving from the Nationwide Series to the Sprint Cup Series.

There was only one problem to this scenario, car owner Richard Childress. Childress had decided it was time for him and Bowyer to go their separate ways. It was surprising since it was Childress to called Bowyer back in 2004 to offer him a job with his team. After seven years, four Sprint Cup wins, and a Nationwide Series championship, apparently Childress had enough.

Discouraged, Bowyer took his sponsor and talents to Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2012. It was thought to be a disaster waiting to happen, a marriage of convenience. MWR wanted a third car, Bowyer had a sponsor, why not? It just so happened that the MWR team took a turn in 2012, going from pretenders to contenders. For Bowyer it was a career year that included three victories and a second place finish in the final standings.

Relating back to Newman is this, we was informed last month he was out at Stewart-Haas Racing. They’re adding Kevin Harvick and there was suddenly not enough funding or support for a fourth team. The music stopped and Newman didn’t have a seat to sit in.

Now comes this week’s news that SHR has offered a ride to Kurt Busch in a fourth car funded completely by co-owner Gene Haas’ company, Haas Automation. Newman, like Bowyer before him, is probably dumbfounded by this since, in his case, he is good friends with co-owner Tony Stewart.

Using the Bowyer example, maybe it will be a good change for Newman to move on to another team. Because you never know, he can maybe help an Earnhardt-Ganassi or Furniture Row Racing team get over the hump from pretender to contender like Bowyer did.

Rush Truck Centers Joins Stewart For 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.  – Rush Enterprises, which operates the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in North America, will be the primary sponsor of Tony Stewart and the No. 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) for three Sprint Cup races with its Rush Truck Centers brand. Continue reading “Rush Truck Centers Joins Stewart For 2013”