Don’t give up. Those three little words could easily be the motto for Ryan Newman and the No. 39 U.S. Army Racing team when it comes to tackling the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Newman and his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team have endured more than their fair share of trials and tribulations at the Alabama racetrack. Over the past few seasons, the No. 39 Chevrolet has been involved in a series of accidents that have left the car with everything from minimal damage to complete destruction.
Despite the rotten luck in recent years, Newman and his No. 39 U.S. Army team are more determined than ever to conquer the biggest and fastest racetrack on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit and get that elusive restrictor-plate victory.
This weekend, Newman & Company will take a page from its U.S. Army counterparts as it rolls into Talladega for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500. Just like the 1 million Army Strong Soldiers they represent across the globe – they will put the mission first, attacking their goals with focus, determination and a refusal to accept defeat.
Yes, the Alabama superspeedway hasn’t been particularly kind to Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 champion. He’s been spun, turned end-over-end and has landed on his roof in the infield. Thanks to the level of engineering and teamwork involved in building and running those racecars, reflective of the Army’s leading-edge technology and the powerful, realistic training of its Army Strong Soldiers, Newman has emerged unscathed from each mishap.
In 21 starts at Talladega, Newman has four top-five finishes and seven top-10s. In seven starts there since joining SHR in 2009, he has just one top-five finish and four finishes of 35th or worse.
His third-place effort during the April 2009 race is his best-ever finish at the superspeedway, and it actually ended with a demolished racecar. Newman managed to finish third despite not being able to see through the massive front-end damage his car received during a spectacular last-lap altercation with Carl Edwards.
But after an impressive fifth-place finish this past July at the other superspeedway on the schedule – Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway –
Newman is ready to put his past Talladega demons behind him.
With seven races remaining in the 2012 Sprint Cup season, Newman and his No. 39 U.S. Army Racing team are fighting to be the “best of the rest.” Their goal is to finish 13th in points – the best of any non-Chase racer – and a solid performance this weekend in a race during which anything can happen could go a long way toward helping Newman achieve that goal.
The Soldiers that Newman represents are the strength of the U.S. Army, and the Army is the strength of our Nation. Newman and his No. 39 team will need to tap into that strength to survive the high-speed chess match that is Talladega Superspeedway.
More than ever, Newman will need to showcase the physical, mental and emotional strength – the strength like none other – that our Army Strong Soldiers display every day, in order to accomplish the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet team’s mission of arriving in Talladega’s victory lane.