Well, State Racing fans, we’re inching ever closer to the finish line of the 2013 Sprint Cup race season, but first, it’s back to Alabama for Ryan Newman, who will race in this Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway.

On the heels of the Kansas race two weekends ago, it’s hard to remember how things played out at Talladega this past May. As a recap, Newman’s No. 39 Chevrolet ended up playing landing pad for Kurt Busch’s car in a multi-car pile up and well, let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty. Afterward, a few of Newman’s comments landed him in some hot water with NASCAR, and not of the State Water Heaters variety.

The fall race at Talladega is often considered a ‘wild card’ and Newman’s already had good luck in these types of situations this season, securing one of the ‘wild card’ spots in this year’s Sprint Cup Chase. Because Talladega typically produces exciting finishes, and occasionally surprise winners, we’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed that the winner this weekend will be our very own State sponsored #39 Chevy SS.

So in this week’s #behindthewheel installment, we get the low-down on Ryan’s thoughts about Talladega and a few other fun tidbits because, well, it’s Friday!

Q: You’ve had some bad experiences at Talladega and have been quite vocal about the racing there. What are your thoughts coming in to this weekend?
A: ”I wouldn’t say I dread going to Talladega, but it’s not my favorite racetrack. I love doing what I do, even at Talladega, but I think the difference is there’s more potential to get involved in something not of your making there, and that’s frustrating to me. When you’re up front at Talladega, it’s great. When you’re not, it can be miserable.”

Q: What does it take to have a good, clean finish at Talladega?
A: “I wish I knew the answer to that. We’ve been on the short end of the stick at Talladega for the past few years. To be successful there, you’ve got to keep yourself in the hunt so you can be there at the end. It’s as simple, or as complex, as that.”

Q: How do you and your crew prepare for a race day together?
A:  “Communication is key. We talk throughout the weekend about what we need to do to make the racecar faster, and on race day, we talk about the strategy of the race and what we’ll need to do to make sure we can contend for the win at the end of the day.”

Q: What are you most proud of in your racing career?
A: “I’d say my Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 wins. Those were pretty special.”

The Camping World RV Sales 500 Sprint Cup race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama starts this Sunday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. EST on ESPN.


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