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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ryan Newman locked into the Chase for the Championship

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman slips into the Army ...Image via Wikipedia
Who can rejoice over a 20th place finish?

The answer is simple--I, and all the other fans of Ryan Newman who were thrilled to see Newman get locked into the 2011 Chase for the Championship. While his team's performance at Atlanta Motor Speedway was less-than-stellar, it was certainly all it needed to be. After all, making the chase this year was the team's goal. Mission accomplished! 

After numerous rain delays, courtesy of Tropical Storm Lee that reigned from Sunday to Tuesday in the Atlanta area, the second-to-last race of the 2011 regular NASCAR season is finally in the books, all 500 miles of it. 

Krissie Newman, who often tweets during the race, remarked about how long the race seemed to be. She was absolutely right. 

I can't imagine how grueling it is for drivers to race for 500 miles at such high speeds in traffic. I liken a 500-mile race to be about the same distance between where I live in the Ozarks to where I used to live in Illinois. That trip is nightmarish and takes approximately eight hours on a good day with no major traffic tieups and no pit stops, pottie breaks, or pauses for food along the way. In fact, though I've made the trip in eight hours, it is actually closer to a nine-hour drive. It is hard to imagine driving that distance every weekend.

Congratulations to Ryan Newman for making the chase this year. I have long thought him to be a champion already, so to me, all this is just formality. Next, it will be a pleasure to watch Tony follow in his drivers' footsteps. I have no doubt that Tony will secure his spot in the chase at Richmond. 

This will be a fun race to watch because I'm sure Newman will enjoy it. There will be no pressure for points--just the normal pressure to win, something he has already done. That has to be a burden lifted from his shoulders. In fact, Newman has one win, one pole, five top 5's, and 11 top 10's at Richmond, in his career.

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