The following awards: 1996 USAC Silver Crown Rookie Of The Year/1999 USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series Championship/2002 Winston Cup Series Rookie Of The Year/2002 Winston Cup Series All Star Winner/2003 Nascar Driver Of The Year/2008 Daytona 500 50TH Anniversary Winner
Winston/Sprint Cup Series Numbers: Best Finishes 6TH-2002,2003,2005....14-wins/135-top 10's/46-Poles
Busch/Nationwide Series Numbers: 7-wins/34-Top 10's/12-Poles
Camping World Truck Series: 1-win/3-top 10's/1-pole
I can understand how the average Nascar fan sees a driver that they pay no attention to. If he/she finishes 15Th or worse, in their mind, it was all the drivers fault and he/she is just not all that good! Not taking into consideration who/what/why/where that finish came about. It's just much more simple/easier to blame the driver and bash him or her. Any well-educated Nascar fan knows, there's much more to the story at the end of a race day and it's NOT always the drivers fault! I bring this point up because of so many years of hearing the novice fan give my driver their "two cents" with no knowledge of what they are talking about!
We often talk about Ryan Newman's stock car career of bad luck and it is well documented. Folks, since 2000 to current, Newman has had 43 DNF'S! I can guarantee you at the most 6 of those where driver error!
As a long time fan I was elated when Ryan was talking about leaving Roger Penske back in 2008. The fans and Ryan knew it was futile to stay with Penske if he ever had thoughts of winning a Nascar Championship. Even with all of Rogers money, his Nascar program was going nowhere fast.
When it was official Newman was joining Tony Stewart/Gene Haas and going to have Hendrick engines and chassis. I thought this was his time to shine. But, you soon find out that with any "some what new" operation, it's a work in progress. It takes time.
We haven't seen the very best from Team #39. The best, remains to be seen! Good luck in 2011!