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Apr 09, 2014 - 06:30 AM
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2014 Darlington: Ryan Newman NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Apr 09, 2014 - 06:29 AM
2014 Darlington: Ryan Newman NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet SS at Darlington Raceway ... Ryan Newman will drive chassis No. 441 in Saturday night's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Chassis No. 441 was raced on March 2 at Phoenix International Raceway where the No. 31 team qualified 15th and finished seventh.


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The Rocket Man at Darlington ... Newman is looking to capture his first-career victory at his favorite track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. The Rocket Man won the 2003 pole at the 1.366-mile oval. In total, he owns seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. The South Bend, Ind. native has an average start of ninth and average finish of 12th. Plus, Newman ranks third in most championship points earned in the last five races at Darlington and ranks sixth in points earned over the last 10 events.

Featured Caterpillar Dealer ... Blanchard Machinery Company has been supplying South Carolina customers with Caterpillar equipment since 1982. The family owned company has established retail and rental stores throughout the state which offer a wide range of Cat and non-Cat brands of equipment. From full-sized bulldozers to small machine parts, Blanchard is committed to providing their customers the best products and services available. Blanchard has 14 locations throughout South Carolina representing six divisions, including Blanchard Compact Equipment, Heavy Equipment, Ironmart, Pioneer Forestry Equipment, Peninsula Equipment, Blanchard Power Systems and Blanchard Rental Services.

Point of Interest ... Newman ranks 11th in the championship driver point standings entering the eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event of 2014.

Race Rewind ... Last season, Newman earned his 10th top-10 finish at "The Track Too Tough To Tame" after starting 21st.

Put to the Test ... This week the No. 31 team will participate in a Goodyear Tire test at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Newman will address the media on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time in the media center.

#31in31 ... Quicken Loans announced the 31 Mortgages of May sweepstakes where they will be selecting a winner each day in May and making their monthly mortgage payment. For more details and to enter, visit QLRacing.com.

What are your thoughts on racing at your favorite track?
"Darlington Raceway is my favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track. It's so challenging. You have to race the track in order to get to the end. It's a challenge to pass there. When you go into Turn 1, you lift on the straightaway and then you are pretty much wide open all the way through Turn 1 and 2. You drive it like no other track on the circuit. I don't know what it's going to be like with the new rules package or the tire combination they come up with. Regardless, it's such a fun racetrack to drive because you have to hustle the car around. Plus, the history of the track is what makes it so amazing. The racetrack was designed to race on the apron and not on the banking. It's amazing how much it hasn't changed, but yet, it still produces great races."

What is your advice for the rookie class on a Darlington stripe?
"They'll find out. You can give all the advice you can, but they'll still probably end up with one. It took me awhile. It actually took me a long time to get mine which was good. I was probably more paranoid than anything. I just didn't want to get one. It's not cool to get one."

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