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Race Day Not All R and R For Ryan Newman

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, September 1 2013

Ryan Newman chats with Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson – two major opponents in Sunday's Advocare 500 Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

(Editor’s note: RacinToday.com’s Rick Minter has been granted full access to driver Ryan Newman and is spending the weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway reporting on the Stewart-Haas Racing driver. The following is the third installment in a three-part series by Minter on Newman. Click for Part One and Two)

HAMPTON, Ga. – Ryan Newman’s Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway was much like race days at other Sprint Cup tracks.

Unlike Friday and Saturday mornings, where he ventured off to the Noah’s Ark animal sanctuary to round up ostriches and feed 10-foot alligators, he spent the early hours of Sunday chilling out, resting up for a 500-mile grind later in the day.

After some morning relaxation in his motorcoach, he was off to do his hospitality appearances. They’re 15 minutes apiece, mostly question-and-answer sessions with guests of his sponsors.

The line-up at AMS included sessions with guests from Outback, Quicken Loans, Aspen Dental and Oral-B.

Most of the questions were about the dual-compound tire that Goodyear brought to AMS to help deal with the worn, abrasive racing surface.

The best query came from a girl who appeared to be no more than 10 years old.

“She wanted to know what my favorite flavor of ice cream was,” Newman said. “I told her that if you look at me you can tell I’m not that picky.”

He went on to tell her that his current favorites are strawberry cheesecake flavors and raspberry sorbet yogurt.

On a serious note, Newman did drink water to hydrate himself for the race, even though he joked that it wasn’t really necessary on a hot muggy Georgia afternoon.

“I could just walk outside and let some of this humidity soak in and I’d be fine,” he said, adding that there was no scientific formula for how much water he drinks before a race. “If I’m thirsty, I haven’t had enough.”

Newman’s crewmembers were dining on skinless chicken and beef – and a birthday cake for crew chief Matt Borland, whose birthday is Monday. Newman chose the chicken, without the A-1 sauce that most of his crewmembers were slathering on their main course.

From there it was off to pit road to get ready to race.

And assuming all goes well Sunday night, he planned to relax on Labor Day, then get in some farm chores before moving on to the final regular season race at Richmond on Saturday night.

“The plan is to cut hay on Tuesday and hopefully bale it on Thursday,” he said, giving no indication that he was going to spend the week worrying about making the Chase or finding a new ride for 2013.

– Rick Minter can be reached at rminter@racintoday.com

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, September 1 2013
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