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Win A Long Time In The Making For Newman
Ryan Newman knows it’s hard to explain just how big winning is in NASCAR, especially when it’s been a long time since you’ve won.
His team owner Richard Childress and crew chief Luke Lambert also know.
Newman had gone 127 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races without a victory, dating back to Indianapolis in 2013 before winning Sunday at Phoenix.
For Richard Childress Racing, it was the team’s first victory in 112 races, dating back to Phoenix in November 2013. This from a team that won six championships with the late Dale Earnhardt.
And for Lambert, it was his first victory ever in 157 races as a crew chief.
“There’s one guy who wins and 39 guys who lose” every race, Newman said. “You just have to stay humble.”
Childress said when the team tested out here; it knew it didn’t have enough speed, so they kept digging.
“We came back from the test here and we weren’t where we wanted to be,” Childress said. “Kept cutting bodies off, working seven days a week, working all kinds of hours to get our cars back to being competitive.”
The work paid off on Sunday.
“It’s been a long, hard fight, and a battle all the way. Nobody ever gave up,” said Childress, who registered his 106th Cup victory as a team owner. “We never gave up on Ryan. We know that he can do it. Our cars just haven’t been quite where we needed to.”
Lambert, too, knew how frustrating it had been trying to get back to Victory Lane.
“One of the things that is really challenging about this sport is there’s only one winner every week,” said Lambert, who first became a crew chief in 2011 and has been waiting since then to win his first race. “Friends and people I grew up with that have recently started following racing, kind of want to learn more about it.
“I always describe it as a championship every single Sunday. You are racing against the entire series, the entire group of competitors. It’s not like any other standard sport where you face one competitor, and you have a 50/50 set of odds of winning or losing. You have a 1 in 40 chance of winning it on any given Sunday against all of the best.”
And Sunday, the team did just that.
“It’s sweet for so many reasons,” Newman said. “I said that when I won the Brickyard. I said that when I won at Daytona. This has been the longest drought I’ve ever been in. ”¦ It’s just a hard”‘fought race, a hard”‘fought battle, a hard”‘fought four years.”
And now it’s over, and Newman, Richard Childress Racing and Lambert are winners.