Newman's Fantastic Flips in Daytona Don't Slow Him Down in Atlanta
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Just two days removed from the series of violent flips he experienced down the Daytona frontstretch, and Ryan Newman doesn¿t look any worse for wear. There are no visible bruises or scars from his wild ride, and it certainly hasn¿t affected his performance on track.
¿I¿m a little sore, especially in my shoulders and my ankle,¿ Newman said, walking gingerly. ¿But luckily, I was able to walk away, and I¿m here today, smiling and driving.¿
Newman must have been smiling when he ran the fastest laps of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, turning in a lap of 29.22 seconds, or 189.733 mph.
¿We¿re pretty happy with how things are going; the conditions ideal for speed today,¿ Newman said. ¿Hopefully that will translate when we¿re back here in two weeks; as long as you get the balance right here, nothing else matters. And our car is good right now.¿
The way Newman is testing ¿ and has always run ¿ in Atlanta, he will be a threat for the pole during qualifying for the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Newman captured his first pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway two years ago, qualifying in front for the Aaron¿s 312. Newman¿s speed of 191.661 shattered the old Busch Series record and still stands today.
¿I love this track,¿ Newman said. ¿It¿s a fast race track ¿ it¿s fast in qualifying, and it¿s fast in the race. It¿s got 3-4 grooves. You never have to wonder if there¿s going to be a passing lane; there¿s always a passing lane. Sometimes more than one. This place is phenomenal for racing.¿
Bobby Hamilton Jr. also tested Tuesday, preparing for his first NASCAR Winston Cup race since 2001. Hamilton Jr. is running the full season with Team Rensi and the Team Marines car in the Busch Series but will be attempting to run a few Winston Cup races this season, beginning with the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500.
¿I love Atlanta, and there is no other race track I¿d rather re-start my Cup career,¿ Hamilton Jr. said. ¿We wanted to go somewhere I could qualify well, and I can do it here. This track is fast, and it¿s fun.¿