User-agent: * Allow: / CH on Track: March 2015


Friday, March 27, 2015

Ryan Newman #1 in practice

Ryan Newman's Quicken Loans #31 Chevy

I couldn't have said it better myself.

"Ryan Newman waited until the last minute to become the fastest driver Friday in an abbreviated first Sprint Cup practice session of the weekend at Martinsville Speedway," said Jerry Bonkowski at NBC Sports.

He added that Newman covered the .526-mile bull ring in southern Virginia with a top speed of 97.835 mph.

Rain delayed the start of practice. If qualifying, which is scheduled later in the day, is rained out, Newman would start on the pole for Sunday's race.

Newman fans have been waiting on the edges of their seats--anticipating Newman's first win of the season. Could it come at Martinsville this weekend?

So far this season, with the exception of Daytona where a wreck ruined his day, Newman finished 10th in Atlanta, had two back-to-back 3rd place finishes at Las Vegas and Phoenix, and pulled out a 5th place finish last week at California. He now stands solidly in 6th place in points.

The #31 Richard Childress Racing team has been on fire with quick pit stops, good pit calls, and some pretty awesome driving. This is definitely a continuance of last year's chase performance that saw Newman right on Champion Kevin Harvick's heels, as Newman finished a painfully close second.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

While I haven't written a word since the 2015 NASCAR season began, it isn't for a lack of interest. My husband had a stroke in January and we are working to regain his strength and mobility. Things are progressing nicely, and we haven't missed a beat with our race viewing.

A little confusion about the Daytona 500

When I tweeted that I wanted a repeat of the 50th running of the Daytona 500 this year, I didn't mean that I wanted Penske Racing to win; I meant that I wanted Ryan Newman to win. Perhaps I just didn't make myself clear enough.

Daytona wasn't a total loss for Ryan Newman fans, yet it was hardly what we were hoping for. The take away is that this was not a DNF, though points were scarce 19 laps down. It is impossible not to sum up this year's experience as "that's Daytona!" Still, the #31 team is all about teamwork and hard work as they managed to repair Newman's wrecked race car and eek out 6 points for the effort.

Another hit at Atlanta

Sunday's race in Atlanta fared much better, despite another late race wreck. While it is always exhilarating to write about Ryan Newman's grit and determination which is always evident, a shout out has to go to the whole #31 team. During the race, the pit crew's performance was stellar, with fast enough pit stops to gain positions. They outdid themselves when they repaired Ryan's wrecked race car following his getting caught up in Denny Hamlin's dust up. Luke Lambert and his crew managed to keep the #31 on the lead lap while making repairs where possible, giving Newman the chance to race his way to a top 10 finish.

If this is a window into the 2015 season, it appears this will be marked by strength and determination. An obvious continuation of last year's hard-fought conclusion that was just a whisper away from a championship, a racing season is made up of many moments. Points are not the end-all be-all. They simply keep track. It is the strength and determination that win championships. Given the teamwork, and grit that has already been shown, the start of this season shows great promise.