MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
APACHE WARRIOR 400
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AAA CHEVROLET SS AND RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 WASTE MASTERS CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed their thoughts and expectations of the race at Dover. FULL TRANSCRIPT:
IT’S GOING TO BE QUITE THE RACE WITHIN THE RACE THIS SUNDAY. CAN YOU GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF YOUR THOUGHTS AND THE INTENSITY BEHIND THAT BATTLE, AS WE GET READY TO DO INTO THE NEXT ROUND?
AUSTIN DILLON: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a race within the race. You’ve got to be smart throughout and make sure you’re there at the end and put yourself in good positions. I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s a little championship run here for all three of us (Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Austin Dillon, and Ryan Newman) this race. One of us, I think obviously, is going to get to the next round. So, we’ve got to make it happen.
RYAN NEWMAN: “I think they said it perfectly.”
YOU THINK ABOUT THIS BEING A CUTOFF RACE AND HOW MUCH IS AT STAKE, BUT YOU GUYS ALL SAY YOU’LL RACE YOUR GUTS OUT, WHICH YOU DO EVERY WEEKEND. IS THERE ANYTHING DIFFERENT OR MORE COMPETITIVE HERE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE?
AUSTIN DILLON: “I think it starts today from practice to qualifying and having a fast car definitely helps that. It makes the weekend a little easier and takes a little stress off of you going in after you start up front and can maybe get some quick stage points to start the race off. So, it’s key to unload fast, I think.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “I couldn’t agree with him more.”
REGARDING WHAT RICHARD CHILDRESS SAID LAST WEEK ABOUT ANY POTENTIAL ANTHEM PROTESTS, HAVE THERE BEEN ANY TEAM MEETINGS OR ANY DISCUSSION AMONG THE TEAM AS TO WHAT THE PROPER PROTOCOL IS FOR YOUR TEAM WHEN THE NATIONAL ANTHEM IS PLAYED?
AUSTIN DILLON: “I think Ryan said it perfect.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “I was doing some deer hunting this week. I drove up to Maryland, and I passed a Greyhound bus and I didn’t see a single employee of RCR or ECR on it, so I think everything is fine.”
HOW DOES KNOWING WHERE YOU NEED TO FINISH RELATIVE TO THE POINTS WHILE YOU’RE RUNNING ON THE RACE TRACK? HOW DOES THAT COMPLICATE YOUR DAY? OR, DO YOU WAIT UNTIL THE THIRD STAGE AND SEE WHERE YOU ARE THEN?
RYAN NEWMAN: “For me, it’s go as hard as you can and the points will take care of themselves. They did for me for the first 28 races or whatever. You can think about that. But, I don’t think my sponsors necessarily want me to say well that was good enough when they want to go to Victory Lane. For this weekend, we’ve got to thank Waste Masters for jumping on board and sponsoring our race car. Hopefully, at the end of the day, the trash will be taken out and we can recycle.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY HAS BEEN THROUGH A LOT OF CUTOFF RACES AND HE SAID THE ONLY TIME HE WANTS HIS TEAM TO KEEP HIM INFORMED ABOUT THE POINT SITUATION IS TOWARD THE END OF THE RACE IF HE’S DOWN A POSITION OR RACING A GUY HE’S HAD TROUBLE WITH IN THE PAST. IS THAT HOW YOU LOOK AT IT. DO YOU NOT REALLY NEED UPDATES ON WHERE YOU ARE IN THE STANDINGS DURING THE COURSE OF THIS RACE UNTIL NEARING THE FINISH?
AUSTIN DILLON: “I think it’s our job to kind of know that going into the race. You keep up with it in the back of your head whether you’re thinking about it or not, I feel like. And where you end up at the end is mostly likely where you’re going to end up either way; so, as long as you don’t make mistakes and change the outcome of where you should finish.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “I think the only good example I can give of that is what information Luke (Lambert, crew chief) at Phoenix a few years ago and the move that I had to make to make that additional spot. Would I have made that move not knowingly? Absolutely not. So, I think there’s a time and a place for that information and it can benefit you but it can also ruin your day or somebody else’s.
RYAN NEWMAN: “I was aware of it on the last restart of where we needed to finish. And not knowing where Jeff (Gordon) was at that point, if he gained or lost a couple of spots in that last run. I knew what our guaranteed spot was, but not where he was going to finish, or roughly where he was going to finish, or where I needed to finish. So, it makes a difference, obviously. But, it created a lot of excitement and enthusiasm at least, on our part, but it’s where we wanted to finish. That was my point of my previous answer. We’re there to win.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR. AND NASCAR HAVE SAID THAT ALL AMERICANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTESTS. WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH HIM OR NOT, WHAT’S YOUR THOUGHT ABOUT RICHARD CHILDRESS TAKING AWAY ANY CHOICE FOR HIS EMPLOYEES?
AUSTIN DILLON: “I have no clue. But for me, I stand for the National Anthem, for those that give us the right to go out and race every weekend. For me personally, when I go out there, I think it’s an honor to stand during the National Anthem and have my hand over my heart and stare at the flag. I enjoy that part of my weekend so I can give a little bit back to those who have given their lives to allow me to go race. So, that’s where I stand, personally. I can’t talk for anyone else.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “I have to say that the word ‘protest’ is kind of conflicting in my mind. I don’t think that there is anything to protest when it comes to why I personally stand for the American flag. I think it’s all about liberty and justice for all, and that’s the freedom that we have, and we should all be thankful for that. And if you have the ability to stand, that’s the way I was taught to treat that moment, was to stand. If everybody else was taught differently, it’s news to me.”
DO YOU THINK ANYONE THIS WEEKEND FROM ANY OF THE TEAMS WOULD PROTEST DURING THE ANTHEM? DO YOU EXPECT ANYTHING LIKE THAT?
RYAN NEWMAN: “We’re not here for that. We’re here to race. We can talk about this stuff all day long, but we’re here to race and to try to win a championship for ourselves and our sponsors and our fans. Anything else is just getting in the way for us.”
AUSTIN DILLON: “I think you should tune-in and watch the race. It’s going to be a great race on Sunday; find out right then.”