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Night racing a welcome change for Newman
Ryan Newman
Now that Ryan Newman has had an opportunity to take a few deep breaths following Sunday's crashfest at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, the U.S. Army driver is back to feeling buoyant about his No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing team.

According to Newman his accident and 35th-place finish at Talladega was only a momentum detour for his team, which had strong finishes in the three previous races, including a victory at the April 10 event in Phoenix.

Richmond International Raceway, site of Saturday night's Crown Royal Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup race, is the kind of venue that Newman would like nothing better to see following a superspeedway race at Talladega.  

"After last week, I welcome a short track race, especially the night race at Richmond where we've had success in the past," said the 32-year-old Newman. "Richmond is a great venue and fans almost always see an exciting race there. I wish we had more Richmond tracks. We took a hit literally in Talladega after having three strong finishes, including the Phoenix win. We're confident that we will regain the momentum that we had prior to Talladega. We're on the cusp, and Richmond could be another launching pad of success for the U.S. Army team."

Newman has indeed enjoyed success at Richmond, competing in 16 Cup races at the .75-mile oval and garnering one win (September 2003), five top-fives, 10 top-10s and one pole.

"We have a strong short track program at Stewart-Haas Racing and feel this is where we can make up ground," stated Newman, a South Bend, Ind. native. "We had a good run last month at Martinsville (fourth) and finished strong at all of the short track races last year."

Newman and the No. 39 team scored top-10 finishes in all six short track races (two each Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond) in 2009, including a fourth and 10th-place result in the Richmond events.

"No question, Richmond is a special place -- everyone likes racing there," noted Newman. "It feels like home since we all grew up racing at short tracks."

Richmond will also feel like home to Newman for another reason and that being the number of Soldiers who attend the event to cheer on the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, which will carry a special Army Medicine paint scheme in tribute of the highly-trained Army Health Care Team.

"We love it when there's a big presence of Soldiers at the track," said Newman. "With Washington D.C. and military posts nearby, Richmond seems to be a gathering place for our men and women in uniform. Nothing will make me more proud than to drive the Soldiers' car to Victory Lane and seeing our heroes with big smiles on their faces. That would be very cool."

Newman enters the Richmond race 18th in the point standings. He dropped two spots after Talladega. In the three previous races he jumped 10 positions in points.

"We're only 87 points from 12th -- the Chase cutoff," said Newman. "Talladega did hurt, but with Richmond, Darlington and Dover being the next three races, I feel we're in strong position to move up in points."

No. 39 Over-the-Wall Crew (city is hometown)
Front-tire changer:      Scott Brzozowski, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Front-tire carrier:        Josh Mick, Houston, Texas
Rear-tire changer:      Ryan Pepe, Orlando, Fla.
Rear-tire carrier:        James Houk, Fair Play, Mo.
Gasman:                    Michael Moore, Springfield, Mass.
Jackman:                    Andrew Turner, Coloma, Mich.
Catch Can:                  Andy Rueger, Seymour, Ind.
8th Man/Windshield:    Jay Guarneri, Naples, Fla.
Crew Chief:                Tony Gibson, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Car Chief:                  Kevin Pennell, Kannapolis, N.C.
Spotter:                      Jimmy Kitchens, Hueytown, Fla.
Engine Specialist:        Jay Nolan, Jacksonville, Fla.
Engineer:                    Johnny Klausmeier, Perry Hall, Md.
Engine:                      Hendrick Motorsports
Shock Specialist :        Brian Holshouser, Charlotte
Tire Specialist:            Jeff Zarrella, Southington, Conn.
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