NASCAR notebook: Newman still positive despite slow start
LAS VEGAS -- Ryan Newman's aggregate results so far this year are worse than they were in 2009, but Newman has reason to feel better about them. The innocent victim of a late-race wreck, Newman finished 34th in the season-opening Daytona 500 this...
LAS VEGAS -- Ryan Newman's aggregate results so far this year are worse than they were in 2009, but Newman has reason to feel better about them.
The innocent victim of a late-race wreck, Newman finished 34th in the season-opening Daytona 500 this year. He was 36th last week at Fontana, thanks to an engine failure. Nevertheless, the performance of his cars before the calamities has provided ample reason for optimism.
"I go in and have a good attitude, and everybody else has a good attitude and knowing what happened to us was poor luck," Newman said after qualifying third for Sunday's Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "I mean, at Daytona we got crashed, and we lost an engine there at California. So, it's tough.
"And we know where we were at this time last year (after finishing 36th and 28th in the first two races) and it's about the same spot. (But) we've run a lot better than we did last year. It's only two races, but either way, it kind of gives you an idea.
"Our biggest satisfaction was at California, knowing that we had a car that was a top-five racecar. We worked our way towards the front every run and lost that engine. But that in itself has kept us from having to worry about attitude or that mentality of 'What are we going to do?'"
BOWYER LEADS FINAL PRACTICE
After turning a lap at 183.530 mph in Saturday's final Cup practice session, Clint Bowyer radioed to his crew, "This thing is fast!"
"Looks like you can run anywhere on the track," commented spotter Mike Dillon.
Bowyer's No. 33 Chevrolet was so fast, in fact, that he parked the car for the final 40 minutes of the 65-minute session and watched from the top of a transporter until rain halted practice with 20 minutes remaining.
Bowyer will start 13th in Sunday's race.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun his No. 88 Chevy after turning seven laps in Happy Hour but kept the car away from the wall. Earnhardt, who will start fourth Sunday, returned to the track and ran 15 laps before practice was called. He ended the session 26th fastest. ... Boyd Gaming, parent company of Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, announced Saturday a three-year extension of its sponsorship of the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at LVMS. Sam's Town has sponsored the event since 1998. The new agreement extends the relationship through 2013.