Newman Ready to Hit the Dirt at Bristol
CONCORD, N.C. (March 26, 2021) – The NASCAR Cup Series heads down to Tennessee looking to get a little dirt on its hands in preparation for the inaugural Bristol Cup Series dirt race. While racing on dirt may be new to much of the field, Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Newman is more than familiar with the terrain and ready to get his No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford Mustang right down to it.
Newman will hit the dirt multiple times this weekend as he competes in Saturday’s Truck race in advance of Sunday’s Cup event. On Saturday, he pilots the No. 39 Coca-Cola branded truck entry, before taking the wheel of the No. 6 Mustang on Sunday.
“It’s really about opportunities,” Newman said. “This is an opportunity to learn more and progress to help ourselves throughout the weekend. The end goal is to have two victories. So we’ll just try to stay focused and enjoy it.”
This is the first time in nearly 50 years that NASCAR spins its wheels in the dirt; the last time taking place in 1970 at the half-mile North Carolina State Fairgrounds track in Raleigh, N.C. Although the Cup series field has a few drivers with notable experience on a dirt surface, Newman believes that for the most part, the playing feel is leveled.
“I think it levels the technology side of things for sure,” Newman explained. “It puts it more in the driver’s hands, but it still will take a combination of the two things to win, no doubt. Track preparation and conditions will also be key as it always is in dirt races as well.”
It will be a busy weekend for Newman as he prepares for three days on the dirt at ‘The Last Great Colosseum.’ Action starts today with two sets of practices for both the truck and Cup series. Before he takes the green flag in his truck on Saturday, he will qualify in the heat races for both series. Then Sunday, the action continues with the No. 6 team.
“We’ll have a lot of questions,” Newman said. “In the end, God made dirt, he didn’t make pavement so that’s just kind of the way I look at it. It is simpler and at times can be more complex, but it at times goes back more in the driver’s hands than in the race cars hands, that is something a lot of the drivers are looking forward to.”
Catch Newman’s first appearance on track Friday, March 26 at 3:05 p.m. EST on FS1 and TSN