All things Ryan
Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:19 pm
I was working in the automotive after market business for 10 years AUTO ZONE and never took any interest in stock car racing. Many customers would come into the store talking about the Nascar races. Going around in circles didn't interest me in any way. Growing up, drag racing was much bigger than stock car.
I was cruising around one day with a local cop who mentioned there was an up and coming stock car driver named Ryan Newman. I thought with the last name of Newman. It had to be Paul Newman's son or relative. I had heard about Paul's involvement with the IRL program. So, it was a logical fit. Well, Ryan was not Paul's son plus and he was from South Bend Indiana.
Plus, my last name is Newman so why not choose a driver with the same last name!
The 2002 Daytona 500 was just a week away so I got me my first Ryan Newman tee shirt. Then I joined the Ryan Newman Fan Club on the internet. Wouldn't you know it. I got a phone call from Ryan's mother Diane about the correct size of my Fan Club tee shirt. Well we talked a while about Ryan and racing in general and she told me I could call her anytime. This is not what you want to say to a total stranger who is a fan of your son! Don't worry, I didn't abuse the situation.
Months later. I had called Diane and she told me she was going down to visit Ryan down in Carolina to see him race in The Winston(2002 All Star Race) I asked her, if I send you an 8x10 centerfold of Ryan from a magazine. Could you have him autograph it "to me" and send it back to me? She said,"Not a problem!" That showed me just how nice these Nascar family's are to their fans. I still have this framed because it's very RARE that Ryan will autograph something dedicated to an individual. He mainly just signs his name!
Went to his very first Fan Appreciation Day back in 2002. Met Don Miller(VP of PRS). Met his mother,father many high school friends and family. Met Krissie and Ryan. It rained that day so I got stuck inside his fathers garage ("G&G") and got to blab with Greg Newman a bit. I also attended Fan Day 2003-2005. At fan day 2004. Ryan was giving rides around Michigan Speedway in a stock Dodge Viper to 20 lucky raffle winners. One was my sister Laurie. I still have those pictures. Ryan did about 160 with my sister. She was the very last ride!
The rest is history after I got to meet Ryan. It hooks you meeting your driver in his rookie year. You buy all that Nascar stuff till you run out of money. They know how to get you hooked. There pretty smart!
- This is my sister and Ryan at Fan Day 2004. He will probably never give rides like this again!
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Last edited by chevy39fan
on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:02 am, edited 6 times in total.
Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:43 am
As far as nascar goes, I grew up on Dirt tracks literally. I was at the track in diapers LOL. I would watch all racing on TV when it came on (you remember when you had about three channels) Remember watching Nascar on Wide World of Sports. Forced to watch some Figuring Skating waiting for the sections of the Nascar race they would show during the show. I watched the 1st race covered live flag to flag. I never had a chance to not be a Nascar fan!
As far as Ryan Newman. A guy on another Nascar Message board (not the zoo one at ESPN) told us in the next year or so watxh out for a young driver that will be in Cup named Ryan Newman. Well my all time favorite driver retired (DW) & I had Ricky Rudd as my next Favorite Driver. But other than that there was a few years where I just wasnt to excited about drivers. Just watched the racing. I used to have an extreme passion for my guy to do well, & whoever I didnt like to do bad. That passion kinda faded away for a couple years. Rudd retired, & I really couldnt say who I had as a favorite I could be excited about. The one thing I do when looking at drivers to root for is see how they drive, more than if they are winning all the time or making the papers or what not like a lot of fans do when choosing a favorite. Well I was warrned to watch Ryan before ever came to Cup & was told he was a #### of a wheelman. So I paid attention. The two drivers I ended finding myself rooting for when the race was coming towards an end was Ryan Newman & Denny Hamlin. I like the way both of them drive. Like I said, at the start of these races I really wasnt excited for any of them. I just paid attention to the drivers on my money team. When I realized I was rooting for Ryan & Denny over the drivers I had on my money team I realized I had some favorites again to root for & really get behind. Thus the passion (& anxiety) is back when I watch racing for the last several years. I guess I should Thank Ryan
I am one of those fans dont flip flop on favorites, so when DW & Rudd retired I wasnt just gonna pick a driver to pick a driver to root for. I guess I kinda let them pick me in a way LOL. When DW was past his prime & stay racing for many years, I kept being asked why do I still root for him. I dont pick drivers because they are the most successful (although he was pretty successful LOL) so because he wasnt the best anymore I didnt see a reason to switch a favorite. The same now. If Ryan or Denny doesnt ever win another race ever, they will be my favorites until they retire. I like the way they race. I like the driver not the teams. I never pick a driver because they are great or winning everything. I guess a lot of fans do it for bragging rights, in this day & age of rubbing ppls faces over the internet. I get a lot more satisfaction when Ryan does real well or wins a race than I would believe JJ fans or Kyle Busch fans that expect to win every race.
So Thanks Ryan ..... My passion right now in cup has never been stronger!
(BTW Chevy fan your story makes me jealous)
Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:50 am
As far as NASCAR goes my family moved to the Pocono mountains when I was a kid. We lived about 5 miles from the raceway. One year my uncle (who is a sports reporter for the local newspaper where I grew up) came out to cover the race. He took me up for qualifying, and thats all it took. I have been hooked ever since. The sights, the sounds, the smells, and just how fast and competetive the sport is. I was a Rusty Wallace fan for ever, so in 2002 when Ryan came along I chose to make him my second fav driver just because he was Rusty's team mate. When Rusty retired I wasn't sure who my new fav would be. I still followed Ryan, and watched all the races but it just wasn't the same w/out a driver to pull for. I remember going to Pocono for a race weekend w/out a driver in the a.m. but coming home w/ a boat load of Newman swag that night. I don't even know what made me buy it (maybe it had something to do w/ the fact I also came how w/ his autograph twice. I have been a die hard fan ever since. I'm not sure why because I have always loved the sport and I thought I was a die hard Rusty fan (till I realised how much of a dick he is in person) but back in the day when I was a Rusty fan I knew some stuff about him, his history, and stuff like that. I couldn't tell you his wife or his kids names, I have no idea where he is from, and I don't know who his heros were or how he got into the sport. When he won a race I was like cool Rusty won. Now w/ Ryan I know pretty much his whole story. His wife his kid (#### I even know the names of his dogs) I know his career, his hometown, I love the way he drives. I love the way he can end up getting something out of a car that just does not have anything to give. I love that he never gives up. I love that he is so accessable at the track. Granted I have not had the chance to do so often since I adopted him as my fav when Ryan wins I am jumping up and down hootin and hollering. The diff between him and Rusty is nuts. I think since becoming a Newman fan I am more passionate about the sport than I ever was.
Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:37 am
In 2001 a friend of mine told me to watch this young driver named Ryan Newman who was in the Busch race that day. I had been a fan of Dale Earnhardt and had lost some interest in the sport when he was killed. I started following Ryan that year while he ran the ABC season. When he came to Cup in 2002, I was hooked. I have been one of his biggest fans every since. I like the way he carries himself on and off the track, I think his wife is perfect for him, (she carries herself the same way he does), I love the work they do for all the animals and he genuinely seems like a great guy. I am really happy for Ryan when he has a good day at the track. I have a huge collection of his diecast cars and they're all autographed, plus a lot of t-shirts, hats, etc. Anytime I get a new diecast, I send it off to his fan club and usually get it back in about 3 weeks with an autograph. I'll always be a Ryan Newman fan.
Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:52 pm
Great posts. I actually started following NASCAR because of Tony Stewart but I started liking Ryan Newman long before SHR happened. I love underdogs esp. those with a lot of potential, smarts and humble nice guys. (Now I also like guys like Brad K. so go figure, some things you just can't explain.)
When I first saw Ryan he reminded me of my nephew. The two really have a strong resemblance though my newphew's 10 years younger than Ryan. I also love underdogs so I started following him.
I was thrilled to see Ryan go to SHR. I couldn't have picked a better place for him because he doesn't get lost in a stable with 3 or more other drivers. I think he has a lot more say in his career and equipment than he would have on another team.
From everything I can tell Krissie is a great lady (I follow her on Twitter) who has her head on right, is funny, loyal, etc. I think they're perfect together and now they have their daughter. So glad for Ryan. I think he's the nicest guy in NASCAR and so underrated as a driver. I also love the fact that he's the only driver with a college degree. He really is the whole package. Great example to young people too. Nice but not a pansy. Intelligent but not a snob. Aggressive but not irresponsibly so. How can someone not like him?
Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:13 pm
I've always been a race fan, from USAC to Indycars, to F1, to NHRA, to NASCAR.
Growing up in the midwest, any and all forms of racing have been scattered throughout this area since the invention of the automobile.
I'll watch almost any kind of racing, and I've always followed midwest racers, except Indycars has always been (and always will be AJ Foyt...including those who drive for him).
at age 11, it was Rusty Wallace rookie year from St. Louis MO area.
I picked up on Ryan as a fan of his when he joined Penske cause he was Rusty's teammate (already knew of him as a USAC driver but didn't root much for him while he was in that series of racing).
Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:32 pm
(BTW Chevy fan your story makes me jealous)
Ryan knows me pretty well as far as the fan thing goes but it comes with no special perks. I don't have his cell phone number. And he hasn't asked me to join he and his wife for dinner.
I have had many set down conversations with him at Fan days but he generally gives this same attention to most others as well. So, I don't consider it something special concerning myself.
- This was my sister and Ryan Fan Day down in Carolina 2005. This was the last one I have attended. And the most expensive coming from Ohio!
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Last edited by chevy39fan
on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:57 pm
I can hear the passion you guys have for Ryan and think it is wonderful. Now you know how I feel about Tony and MJ feels about Jimmie.
Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:09 pm
every driver i liked since watching nascar had one thing in common, at least i believe so, they were all low key, didnt search for the spotlight or need attention, kenny schrader, davey allison, jimmie johnson, ryan newman, i never liked a driver because he won a ton of races or championships, that JJ thing is a freak thing, never expected that to happen, around 01-02 schrader was talking about retiring some day, so i was in search, ryan caught my eye cuz early on he was good at qualifying, plus he was so shy that he would stutter while bein interviewed and JJ cuz he has that borin personality, i knew he wasnt the type to rock the boat, until this past weekend, haha.....
as i always say, i may not be a fan of tony, but i have a ton of respect for what he has accomplished,
so that is my story, and i may or may not stick to it, depends the mood im in.........
Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:22 pm
Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:20 pm
I have been doing a little research on $45.00 underwear and I am quite frankly a lil scared of what I have found.
As Mr. onerockindoc only wears Fruit of the Loom....he would die if he knew I was sharing this with you all....I am now wondering boxers or briefs??
Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:01 am
I was dating a guy in summer of '02 that I had invited for Sunday dinner. I was thinking either reading the paper on the front porch or watching a rerun of the movie Star Gate. He said, "I'd like to watch the race, darlin." Sunday dinner & the race soon became a habit. He would explain the stragies, the difference between loose & tight and tell me about drivers. Ryan coaught my attetion because of his interviews, never cocky, and he won eight races that year. I was hooked by the August Pocono win. The guy is long gone, I just couldn't stand being called "darlin", but my love of NASCAR & Ryan is still going strong.