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Monday, August 22, 2011

Newman feels at home at Michigan

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 19:  Ryan Newman, driver...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe Michigan International Speedway is special to Ryan Newman, so it is especially good to see him run well there. He certainly did that—grabbing a fifth place starting spot and finishing fifth, with lots of good runs in between.

There is no doubt about it—when your favorite driver has a good day, and especially a good finish, it makes racing really fun to watch. Needless to say I enjoyed this week’s Michigan race. Newman climbed to seventh in points with only three races to go before the Chase for the Championship begins.

It is clear that Newman and his team are giving it everything they’ve got. I can’t quite put my finger on it, or can I recall just when it happened, but early in this season it seems as if something just began to click. The cars seemed to go faster, balance improved, pit stops became competitive again, and the entire team seemed to come together.

Newman has won and lost at Michigan, where he holds the track record. He made it around the two-mile oval in 194.232 seconds during a qualifying lap in 2005.

A respectable fifth place finish can certainly earn Newman bragging rights as well. That is just the way it should be too, since this track is one he considers his home track. His father Greg brought him to the races when he was growing up. It isn’t far from where they lived in South Bend, IN. No doubt Newman dreamed of wheeling his own race car around it.

An avid fisherman, Newman has donated to youth camps and provided scholarships for kids. He never forgot learning to fish there with his grandfather. He’d like other kids to grow up with the same experience.

Perhaps the biggest proof of Newman’s devotion to the Michigan International Speedway, in Brooklyn, MI, is that he and his wife Krissie named their daughter Brooklyn.
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