Newman looking for consistency

Published 6:51 am Thursday, June 23, 2005

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
NILES - There is no doubt that Ryan Newman knows how to fly around the race track.
He has proven that by winning five poles this season and 32 in his career.
But Newman, the former South Bend, Ind. resident, knows that finishing races is what wins championships.
Newman is currently seventh in the NEXTEL Cup standings. The top 10 drivers, plus anyone within 400 points of the leader, advance to the Chase for the Championship over the final 10 races of the season.
Newman would like to make a run at his first NEXTEL Cup championship, but right now he is focused on winning his first race of the season and staying in the Top 10 in points.
Newman finished a disappointing 15th at the Batman Begins 400 last Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
The driver known as "Rocketman" had hoped to pick up his first win of the year at MIS after grabbing the pole.
Newman won the June race last year at Michigan to pick up his first win of the 2004 season.
But a late fade on Sunday left him shaking his head.
Newman is proud of the fact that he has a series-leading five poles this season and has now won a pole at every track with the exception of seven.
Newman led the series in 2003 with 11 poles and had a series-high nine poles last season. As a rookie in 2002, he won a record six poles.
But while poles are nice, he really wants to pick up some victories.
Newman said he felt that he had a top five car at Michigan, but faded in the closing miles.
This week Newman and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team head to Sonoma, Calif. for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.
The first of two road courses that appear on the NEXTEL Cup schedule, will be run on Sunday beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Newman has never won on a road course, but is looking forward to the challenge.
Newman has competed in six road course events in his previous three seasons of Cup racing, finishing with two top 10 finishes at Infineon Raceway.
Last year Newman placed 14th.
Nemwan is a 1996 graduate of South Bend LaSalle High School. He is one of two drivers currently from Indiana in the NEXTEL Cup Series, but will be joined by another South Bend native in 2006.
David Stremme was named on Sunday to replace Sterling Marlin in the Coors Light No. 40 Dodge.
When asked what it was going to take to remain in the hunt for the NEXTEL Cup, Newman replied "consistency."
With all his success with poles, one has to wonder which track he would most like to win a race at. "Indianapolis," Newman responded.
He and his wife Krissie reside in Sherrills Ford, N.C.