SHR’s Dynamic Duo rolls with Momentum into New Hampshire

By Fan4Racing

What happens when you combine momentum with a dynamic duo? 
In one word – Anticipation

Owner Stewart celebrates Newman’s Victory
New Hampshire July 2011 – Stewart finished 2nd
Photo – NHMS/HHP
For those without it, they work harder to make gains on the track every week. But when momentum is working, great things happen, seemingly with less effort. So will fans see momentum continue it’s roll this weekend?

For Stewart Haas Racing drivers Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman, their return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway – where this dynamic duo celebrated in victory lane twice in 2011 – offers a lot of anticipation for this weekend’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 – Going The Extra Mile.

Ryan Newman won the pole for both 2011 races at the track, with Newman winning in the July race followed by Stewart in second. Then Stewart won five of the ten Chase races, which includes a fall win at NHMS, on his way to winning his third championship. Couple that momentum with Stewart’s third win of the 2012 season at Daytona last weekend, and the excitement translates to a great deal of anticipation leading up to the checkered flag on Sunday. 

On Friday, Stewart was asked about momentum on his side coming off his win at Daytona and a pretty good practice to start off the weekend.

“We’re decent I think. We have been pretty good here both races last year so I’m pretty excited about coming back here. We definitely have a good start to the day for sure.”

Sounds like momentum is still rolling in Tony’s favor, and the other half of the dynamic duo, Ryan Newman was also excited and confident as he reflected a bit more on their 2011 success.

“It was awesome for us here last year,” said Newman. “It was a time when Tony (Stewart) was struggling a little bit too, so, to have the one-two start and one-two finish, that was awesome. Then for him to back it up, and us to win the Spring race, and him to win the Fall race, I wish we could have backed it up and finished in at least second in the Fall race. But it was an amazing place for us here, … in Loudon. We’ll try to do it again. There’s no reason that we can’t.”
When asked about why they’re so good and can they carry any of last year’s success over to Sunday’s race, apparently Stewart’s not sure but isn’t concerned about that, because his team is picking up where they left off despite a different tire for this year’s race.

#39-Newman & #14-Stewart up front at NHMS
Photo – Getty Images
“I wish I knew, but it seems like where we were last year it’s continuing on so far even though we’ve got a little bit different tire it sounds like. I’m pretty happy with it. I mean the car right off the first lap felt like it had really good balance to it. Just got to keep working with it and see if we can keep making it better all weekend.”
Qualifying on Friday netted Newman a sixth-place starting spot and Stewart in tenth. Yet the team remains confident they will perform well on Sunday.

“I think our cars are good, there’s no doubt. I think the Hendrick engines, I mean everything’s clicking. I like the track because I think you have to feel the tires and be on the edge,” says Newman. “I was thinking about it last week. I think (Tony) Stewart might have a similar answer, it kind of reminds us of our old IRP – Indianapolis Raceway Park – days. This kind of drives like that kind of race track where your car is on top of the race track, and you get everything you can. There is really nothing to really make it go any faster. It’s not like you are pushing the car on the banking to make it grip better. There’s none of that really to speak of here. I think just a little bit of our past. A little bit of our time. A little bit of us as far as the way we drive race cars.”

Currently, Ryan Newman is 15th in the point standings with one win to his credit. Both Kyle Busch and Joey Logano also have one win each, but are ranked 12th and 14th respectively, giving them the current wild card spots. With Newman on the bubble, if his past success here does translate to another win, it would be a huge boost for him to take over a wild card spot for the Chase. 

“This is our place to shine and statistically I’ve run really well here on Friday’s and Sunday’s. It’s a crunch time period for us in the season to need to do that again. Hopefully, we can deliver, I feel like our cars are pretty good. The US Army ROTC Chevrolet was good in practice; I didn’t get a perfect lap in practice so I’m hoping I get that perfect lap in qualifying. I just kind of caught the seams wrong just a little bit down in (turns) three and four. It’s crunch time no doubt and we will go out there and see if we can have fun today and the rest of the weekend.”

And with Stewart tied with Keselowski for most wins – three – in 2012, Tony could use another win to put him solidly in the lead spot to start the Chase at Chicagoland. With the race on Sunday, there are only eight more chances for all the drivers to better their position going into the Chase. 

So with the competition heating up in the Race to the Chase, will the  dynamic duo continue their momentum with another win this weekend? Or will it be another driver in victory lane? 

Anticipation awaits all fans on Sunday and we’ll know the answer when the checkered flag waves in New Hampshire.

Josh Williams: A Driver’s Eyes in the Sky

Courtesy of Josh Williams

By Jason Schultz

A key component of success for a driver is the help they receive by their team each weekend. One of the most important roles on the team is the spotter. The spotter tells the driver what they can’t see on the track. Whether it’s from a wreck ahead or if a car is approaching high or low. Without the spotter, a driver would have a much harder time navigating around the track and staying out of trouble. 

Josh Williams isn’t a veteran spotter but he knows what to do. He spots for driver T.J Bell in the Nationwide Series and Scott Speed in the Sprint Cup Series. Josh grew up around racing and that’s basically all he knows. His racing background led him into a tier-type of racing in North America, NASCAR. Josh was kind enough to take some time out of his hectic schedule to answer some questions about his job.

Question 1: What’s a normal race day like for you?
“A normal race day for me is show up with the team early around 8 am and we usually have a strategy meeting and talk about the plan for that day. I usually head to the spotters stand about 1:30 before race time to get my spot and look at our pit box location and get sorted out for the race.”

Q2: What are the hardest tracks to spot on and why?
 “The hardest for me are places like Atlanta and California where there are multiple grooves and tires fall off a lot, makes it more difficult to judge the runs and usually there are green flag stops there, so a lot of different strategies going on. Bristol is a different beast, but it just happens so fast there, is why it’s difficult; it’s a lot of fun if you can just slow things down in your mind and not get caught up in the rest of the show.”

Q3: Have you ever had to spot through a wild wreck, if so explain how you maneuvered your driver through it?
Not really, thankfully, but this year in the Daytona Nationwide race there was some big wrecks near the end and we missed most of them until the last one. Basically you just go off of your quickest judgment and try and help them one way or the other and it’s up to the drivers with a little bit of luck involved.”

Q4: Who is easier to spot for, Scott Speed or T.J Bell, and why?
“I wouldn’t say one is easier than the other because they both are very competitive people. The hardest thing for me is going between the two of them, I spot for TJ more than Scott because he runs the full Nationwide schedule so I have to remember Scott wants a little more information and remind myself of that during the race. They’re both great friends and fun to work with.”

Q5: Did you grow up around racing?
“Yes, my grandfather was the general manager at the Martinsville speedway and my dad sold souvenirs for Dale Earnhardt Sr and still works for Motorsports Authentics. I’ve been around it since I was 8 months old so pretty much all I know.”

Q6: Who was your first spotting job for?
“My very 1st spotting experience was for my cousin (Blaine Atkins) in the Allison legacy series. My 1st NASCAR spotting job was with Scott last year and my 1st race was Bristol, no pressure there!”

Q7: What is the main equipment do you use to spot with?
“I use Motorola ex 600 xls radios, one I use to scan NASCAR and to listen to myself and the other is strictly for our team communications. I use racing radios headset and racing radios does all of my programming for radios.”

Q8: What’s your favorite track to spot on and why?
“My favorite track by far is Daytona! It’s such a blast being in the pack trying to judge runs and which lane is best to be in! Bristol is my 2nd favorite.”

Q9: On twitter, you are always talking with Scott Speed about golf. What has been your favorite golf experience so far and who is a better golfer, Scott or you?
“I play professional golf in my free time so I have a lot of golf experiences, my favorite with Scott has to be going to play at TPC sawgrass when we were in Daytona this year and I shot 67 from the back tees. I’m definitely the better golfer but Scott is so competitive and always working at it, he’s getting pretty good and it’s not a stretch to say he’s the best golfing race car driver. I’ve seen him shoot 71 before.”

Q10: Do you like hang out with your drivers off-track? If so, what do you like to do?
 “Yes definitely, Scott’s like my brother I never had, so are always needling each other and giving each other a hard time. He’s super competitive so he is up for anything that can be a competition. Anything from; golf, running, swimming and to even playing games on our iPhone’s. About the only thing I beat him in is golf so I remind him of that daily!”

LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Preview

Photo- Getty Images

By Jason Schultz

Race Info

Date- Sunday July 15th, 2012

Location- Loudon, New Hampshire

Start time- 1:16 PM EST

Distance- 301 Laps, 318.485 Miles

Broadcast TV- TNT

Broadcast Radio- MRN

Weather Forecast

High 88 F Low 68 F

Chance of rain- 10%

Partly Cloudy

Past Race Winners

2011- Ryan Newman

2010- Jimmie Johnson

2009- Joey Logano

2008- Kurt Busch

2007- Denny Hamlin

Notables yet to win LENOX Industrial Tools 301

Brad Keselowski

Kasey Kahne

Matt Kenseth

Greg Biffle

Kevin Harvick

Martin Truex Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Carl Edwards

News & Notes

Tony Stewart looks to win back to back races

Ryan Newman looks to win two straight July New Hampshire races

Kenseth looks to keep point’s lead

This is TNT’s last race for the season

Kyle Busch, Joey Logano look to keep wild card spots, Kahne, Newman in hunt of wild card spots

Keselowski, Stewart look to pull ahead in win leaders column for 2012

Jason’s Fantasy Racing Picks

Group A- Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson

Group B- Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle

Group C- Brian Vickers, Sam Hornish Jr.

Event Schedule

Cup Practice 12:00 PM EST Friday on SPEED

Cup Qualifying 3:30 PM EST Friday on SPEED

Cup Practice 9:00 AM EST Saturday on SPEED

Cup Practice 11:00 AM EST Saturday on SPEED

Cup Race 12:00 PM EST Sunday on TNT

Next Race- 7/29 Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis, Indiana

Entry List via

Joplin, MO
Bass Pro Shops / Allstate
Felix Sabates
Rochester Hills, MI
Miller Lite
Roger Penske
Enumclaw, WA
Farmers Insurance
Linda Hendrick
Launceston, Tasmania
Richard Petty
Zephyrhills, FL
Mohawk Northeast
Tommy Baldwin
Chesterfield, VA
FedEx Freight
J D Gibbs
Bakersfield, CA
Bob Germain
Rushville, IN
Mobil 1 / Office Depot
Margaret Haas
Emporia, KS
5-hour Energy
Rob Kauffman
Vancouver, WA
3M / WB Mason / Post-it
Jack Roush
Cambridge, WI
Roush Fenway Racing
John Henry
Las Vegas, NV
Interstate Batteries
Joe Gibbs
Middletown, CT
The Home Depot
Joe Gibbs
Bryan, OH
Shell / Pennzoil-AAA
Walter Czarnecki
Bahama, NC
North Texas Pipe
Robert Richardson
Pittsboro, IN
Rick Hendrick
Riverside, CA
MDS Transport
Jerry Freeze
Eau Claire, WI
Menards / Duracell
Richard Childress
Bakersfield, CA
Richard Childress
South Bend, IN
Inception Motorsports
Kevin Buckler
South Boston, VA
Richard Childress
Fenton, MO
Federated Auto Parts
Jack Roush
Asheville, NC
Little Joes A
Richard Childress
Unadilla, GA
Front Row Motorsports
Bob Jenkins
Hartford, OH
Tommy Baldwin Racing
Allan Heinke
Riverside, CA
Taco Bell
Brad Jenkins
South Bend, IN
Tony Stewart
Bogota, Colombia
Chip Ganassi
Tampa, FL
Medallion Financial
Richard Petty
Corpus Christi, TX
Luke & Associates
Tad Geschickter
El Cajon, CA
Jeff Gordon
Las Vegas, NV
Phoenix Construction Services
James Finch
Thomasville, NC
Michael Waltrip Racing
Bill Jenkins
Mayetta, NJ
NAPA Auto Parts
Michael Waltrip
Cato, NY
Furniture Row / Farm American
Barney Visser
Cedar Rapids, IA
Burger King
Thomas Ueberall
Lakeland, FL
AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves
Andrea Nemechek
Kannapolis, NC
National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew
Rick Hendrick
Janesville, WI
Burger King
Thomas Ueberall
Phoenix, AZ
Phil Parsons Racing
Mike Curb
Columbia, MO
Jack Roush
Milwaukie, OR
Humphrey Smith Racing
Randy Humphrey
Kelly Bires
Mauston, WI
Team Kyle / Bestway Disposal
Archie St Hilaire
Phoenix, AZ
America Israel Racing
Jay Robinson