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Great article on Ryan Newman in the "Sporting News."


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Here's the link. Or...if you're lazy like I usually am, you can just read it right here:

Newman barely talks -- and still says too much / By Matt Crossman - SportingNews

Ryan Newman makes no sense at all. He has an engineering degree, so you would expect him to race conservatively ... you know, because his education taught him that playing the percentages yields the best possibility of success. But he's one of the biggest risk takers in the sport, gambling often on fuel, race strategy and aggressive setups. For a guy who has no neck, he sure sticks it out a lot.

Newman makes Matt Kenseth seem like Terrell Owens. Newman is a nearly impenetrable one-on-one interview, with every answer either a cliche or the shortest sentence possible. It must drive him nuts when he lengthens his quotes to include sponsor references.

And Newman apparently is not content to make just his own stories boring. After the second Richmond race -- the cutoff before the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup, the most important race of the season to date -- Newman kept telling Carl Edwards to keep his answers short, which was like asking the pope not to wear a funny hat.

Yet despite saying as little as possible, Newman somehow keeps getting himself in trouble with his mouth. His teammate Rusty Wallace and NASCAR head the list of those wishing Newman would keep his opinions to himself.

I won't dissect his feud with Wallace except to say I think it's great and I wish Wallace weren't retiring just so those two could keep jabbing each other. If there weren't rules against it, I'd make up quotes from one or both just to keep it going.

Newman's beefs with NASCAR are just as interesting. Not to be overly dramatic, but I get the feeling NASCAR officials want Newman to win a championship as much as they want an investigation into their claim they have 75 million fans. NASCAR wants its champions to be smiling, pretty-girl-kissing acolytes of all that makes the sport wonderful. Newman does smile. And his wife is pretty. As for the rest ... Newman first started beating on NASCAR over the Lucky Dog rule, which states that when a caution flag flies, the first driver who is a lap down gets his lap back. Newman essentially says this rule is stupid and unfair and that if a driver goes a lap down he should earn it back by racing. He's right, but the rule is in place for safety reasons. Of course, the first driver to win after benefiting from the Lucky Dog rule was none other than Newman.

Newman has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Chase. Now, he stands a good chance to win his first title. Under the old system, he would be out of it. I told you Newman made no sense, didn't I? He's a contradiction wrapped in a firesuit.

Matt Crossman is an associate editor for Sporting News. E-mail him at mcrossman@sportingnews.com.

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