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Monday, February 6, 2012

Ryan Newman is still the Rocketman!

English: Ryan Newman stands beside his Number ...
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The season hasn't even started yet and already we read things like, "These days, a more suitable nickname for Newman might be 'Mediocre Man.' The 34-year-old driver seemingly does just enough to keep his ride--making the Chase every now and again and good for about one win a season."

This was a horrible mischaracterization from Scene Daily this morning.

Now I don't know what races Scene Daily is watching, but mediocre certainly does not describe the Ryan Newman I've observed during the 2011 season and before. While it may be true that team 39 only one won race last year, but for cripes sake, Newman's team finished in 10th place last year. That is better than 33 other drivers. How can you call a top-10 driver in the sport mediocre?

And need I remind anyone that in some cases, the end result of a race may not be reflective of the driver's ability alone. Ryan Newman is a top-notch driver, but some things are out of his hands. This is a team effort. In To win a race, the entire team must perform flawlessly. Ryan Newman doesn't change the lug nuts or refuel his race car. He does not go out of his way to run into other race cars.  

I just wonder why Newman is too often treated differently by some reporters/analysts/critics, not to mention NASCAR brass, than some of the other drivers. Yes, Dale, Jr. certainly comes to mind.

Newman has done some incredible things on the race track. I've listened to him when he is forced to limp an inferior race car to the finish line after being involved in someone else's mess. I've heard the never-ending determination, always striving to be better. I've heard his frustration. I've held my breath when a lug nut gets wedged in the nether reaches of a wheel causing a vibration; or some of the other bazaar things that have occurred. I've seen him go a lap and still finish in the top 5. Ryan Newman drives his heart out--every lap. There is nothing mediocre about him.