Newman's 'race hard' reputation worn as badge of honor

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Newman's 'race hard' reputation worn as badge of honor


Newman's 'race hard' reputation worn as badge of honor


Ryan Newman think he is doing his job “the best” if drivers still complain about him being one of the hardest drivers to pass.

As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to a 1.5-mile track this weekend at Kentucky Speedway, it is sure to bring back thoughts of the most recent downforce race at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago. Newman was one of the drivers giving the leaders fits as he fought to stay on the lead lap late as behind him, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson battled for the win.

“That is what you are supposed to do as a driver,” Newman said.

Newman long ago gained a reputation for not giving an inch to his competitors, regardless of his position on the track and what point is in the race. It is something Newman has addressed numerous times throughout his career (just Google “Ryan Newman hard to pass”) with Chicago again highlighting his fighting spirit.

“I was trying to explain to people how Ryan races people really hard,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said on his “Dale Jr. Download” podcast that week. “He carries that as a badge of honor. Kyle Busch is pissed, I’m sure. Anybody would be.

“I would be pissed if Ryan Newman did that to me. But that’s Ryan. Immediately you’re like freakin’ mad and then a lap later you’re like, ‘Well, that’s Ryan.’ He’s there thinking, ‘these are all positions for me, man. I don’t care that that’s the leader.’”

After winning in Chicago, Busch did not specifically mention Newman but did note that some of the cars could have been kinder to the leaders.

“There is a certain amount of give and take that we all have to have,” Newman said. “If they think I have the least, then that’s still OK. I give and take. I really do, and a lot more so than they think.”