LONG POND – Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman scored two top-five finishes at Pocono Raceway last season.
He’ll look to better his finish in Sunday’s Pocono 400.
“I’ve always liked Pocono,” Newman said last Tuesday. “It’s one of my favorite racetracks and (I like) trying to work all three corners of the Tricky Triangle. I always liked the area and always talked about going fishing.”
Newman tested last Tuesday at Pocono with his Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team and talked about trying to find speed in preparation for Sunday’s race.
“(We want) to get a good feel on what we need to do here at Pocono and also take some of that information and translate it into our Indy package,” he said. “We are testing Indy as well, so that’s another added bonus. Just to kind of gives us a head start on that type of package, which is different from the engine standpoint and from the chassis standpoint.”
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono have some similarities. Both are smooth, flat and fast. Newman won last year’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis
Winning a race in the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season practically guarantees a driver a spot in the Chase. Ten different drivers have already won a race this season.
“It haven’t changed my approach,” Newman said. “I wanna win every race. Our goal is to go out there and do our best each and every opportunity we have — practice, qualifying and the race — to put our self in that position.”
The 36-year-old driver has made the Chase for the Sprint Cup five times since its inception in 2004, including three of the last five years with his former team, Stewart-Haas Racing.
The Indiana driver switched teams in the off-season.
With the departure of Kevin Harvick at RCR at the end of 2013, Newman is now the lead driver of the team.
“The transition has been good,” he said. “I’ve haven’t had a top-five yet, or obviously a victory because of that. Still working on that part of it. We’ve had good performances, but we’ve had some really bad luck. “
Newman had a flat left-rear tire coming to the green with 100 laps to go in last month’s Coca-Cola 600 and currently sits 11th in points after 13 races.
There is one area he said the team has been behind in a little bit.
“We’ve been at a slight disadvantage, I think, just in pure power,” he said.
Newman’s only Cup win at Pocono came from the pole during a 2003 season in which he won eight times. He also has an ARCA victory at the Tricky Triangle as well.