June 6 now recognized as Ryan Newman day in Michigan
Published 3:44 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2006
BROOKLYN - June 6 was the first Ryan Newman Day in the state of Michigan, and the four-time MIS winner wants to make sure it wasn't his last.
With his first MIS appearance of 2006 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup 3M Performance 400 presented by Post-it Picture Paper just a week and a half away, Newman took the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing by storm on Tuesday. Along with Governor Jennifer Granholm's proclamation of June 6 as NASCAR Day, Senator Mark Schauer and Representative Leslie Mortimer delivered a resolution to announce the day as Ryan Newman Day in the state. Granholm, Schauer, Mortimer and several other key state legislators applauded Newman not only for his on-track success, but for his off-track endeavors as well.
“Not only has he been a great success on the track, but he has been a champion in life as well,” said Granholm. “So many NASCAR drivers invest in the community, and Ryan is no exception. He has his own foundation, with his wife, helping with humane societies. He's a big champion of preserving wildlife and land. It's tremendous to be able to be a success on the track, and it's even more important to help off of the track as well.”
Newman was on hand to promote several important causes throughout his day at the Capitol, the first of which was the recently-approved $18.5 million allocation for highway improvement in the area surrounding MIS. Newman applauded the government leaders for their devotion to the loyal Michigan fan base.
“Fans drive the sport from my perspective, and the improvements are great for the fans,” said Newman. “Without the fans, I wouldn't have my job. I really appreciate everything the legislature is doing in making the experience better for the fans, and we'll try to do our best in providing the thrills and chills on the track.”
Along with the discussion on local highway improvement, Newman also promoted his Ryan Newman Foundation and the book Pit Road Pets, which features several top NASCAR drivers and their beloved animals. Newman and his wife, Krissie, have joined with local humane societies in many areas for the cause of animal preservation, and he continued to promote this cause during his day in Lansing.
Newman's recent success at Michigan is certainly nothing to ignore. In 12 starts at the two-mile oval, Newman has compiled two NEXTEL Cup and two NASCAR Busch Series victories each. His two Cup victories came back-to-back in August 2003 and June 2004, and his most recent Busch victory leaves him as the defending MIS Busch winner entering this August's Carfax 250 at MIS.
Being a native of nearby South Bend, Indiana, Newman experienced MIS long before his ascent to the top of NASCAR's ranks.
“The first time I came to MIS was 1993 or 1994, just as a fan. We parked right behind the main grandstand and got to our seats right before the green flag fell. It was one of my first experiences with NASCAR and it left a great impression on me,” said Newman.