Newman, Childress find Victory Lane together

first_img“Yeah, the drought makes a difference,” Newman said. “It shouldn’t, but it does. That’s just the way your mind works. Childress took a chance on Newman in 2014 because he needed a veteran driver, and Newman took a chance on Richard Childress Racing because he needed a job. That’s often how things work in the world of NASCAR. Some wondered the same about Childress and his three-team organization competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Before Sunday’s victory, no RCR driver had been to the winner’s circle since Harvick’s victory at Phoenix in the fall of 2013. It took the pair more than three years and 112 races to get into Victory Lane, and the truth of the matter is that some wondered if Newman’s winning days had come and gone. He won the 50th running of the Daytona 500 and he’s won the Brickyard 400, two of NASCAR’s signature events. The Phoenix win, he said, will be no less memorable. In the time it took Newman to return to the winner’s circle, 19 others won one or more races. Drivers such as Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth measure winless streaks in weeks, not months. And certainly not years. That’s a tough pill to swallow for an organization that had once been the cream of the crop in NASCAR’s top series, winning six championships and 105 races. “You just got to stay humble. This sport, you walk away from it, there’s one guy that wins, 39 losers. You have to be humble walking into it that you’re probably not going to win that day. (The) odds are against you.” Childress, inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame earlier this year, knows what it’s like to struggle. He made nearly 300 starts as a driver at NASCAR’s top level without going to Victory Lane. “But I always felt like this might be the weekend that the bigger teams might have a problem and I’d be there in position to win the race,” he said of his driving career. Unlike his last two appearances, however, this time he’ll go in as a race winner. Now we can add Newman’s name to the list. Sunday’s win all but assures him of a spot in this year’s 16-team, 10-race playoff. True. With Kyle Larson on the brink of a second career win (he’s finished second three times in four races this season), Chase Elliott continuing to knock on the door and a host of teams finding themselves in the mix, the series’ competition pool appears deeper than ever. “Going a long time without winning, you have confidence in your mind that you can do it,” Newman said. “There are guys that go their whole career and never win, good drivers.center_img He’s always been quick to acknowledge that improvement doesn’t come overnight, but instead can be a long, arduous process. “Like turning an ocean liner around,” he’s often said. “It takes time.” NASCAR’s top series is full of drivers who have yet to win — nearly half those in Sunday’s field at Phoenix remain winless. A handful of others are mired in winless streaks as long or longer than Newman’s run of futility. He had made the transition from open-wheel sprints and midgets to NASCAR and quickly found success with Team Penske, where he won 13 times from 2002-08. He won four more times after a move to Stewart-Haas Racing (2009-13) but found himself out of a ride when SHR brought Kevin Harvick on board. RELATED: All of Newman’s wins in photos RCR hasn’t been the only team that has found itself scrambling to recapture past success, but maybe Sunday’s victory is a sign that the organization is indeed once again headed in the right direction. MORE: Dillon, Childress congratulate Newman over radio RELATED: Newman’s career stats | Childress’ owner stats “It’s been a long, hard fight, and a battle all the way,” Childress acknowledged. “Nobody ever gave up. We never gave up on Ryan. We know that he can do it. Our cars just haven’t been quite where we needed to be.” “But those days of domination I think are kind of fewer and farther between,” Newman said, “if you look at the first four races of this year.” BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club’s 20th anniversary RELATED: Newman wins big in PhoenixRichard Childress was still a driver/owner when Ryan Newman was born — the year was 1977 in case you’re wondering — and now all these years later here the two were, seated beside each other in the media center Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. Newman the winning driver of the Camping World 500, Childress the winning team owner. “If we go out and win the next three races in a row, it will still feel sweet. After not winning for so long in a sport that’s so demanding, it does add some sugar to it.”</p>last_img read more

Moss Maritime develops design for liquid hydrogen bunker vessel

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Japan women book spot in team badminton final at Asian Games

first_img RELATED PHOTOS The world bronze medalist’s defeat came on the back of a loss to her great rival, world No. 3 Venkata Sindhu Pusarla of India, the previous day. The rubber was a rematch of the world championships semifinal in China earlier this month. On that occasion Pusarla also emerged the winner.“I thought if I could rally and make a comeback in the second half of the match (against Tunjung) I would have more leeway, but I was forced into a tight one all the way to the end,” said Yamaguchi.Going into the semifinal, she said she had been having difficulties adjusting to the strong air-conditioning in the venue, a common complaint in a sport in which any random gust of air can affect how the feather-light shuttles fly.“Sometimes I could nail a smash and break down her game but the shuttles did not fly as I had hoped,” Yamaguchi said.With a raucous, partisan Indonesian crowd very much behind her opponent, Yamaguchi admitted the moment, and the crowd’s support for Tunjung, added to her troubles.Tunjung “seems like a type of player who can feed off the energy of the crowd. My style of play, on the other hand, became passive,” Yamaguchi said.Despite Yamaguchi’s loss, Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota won the subsequent doubles rubber 2-0 (21-13, 21-12), Nozomi Okuhara came from behind to win the second singles match 2-1 (19-21, 21-4, 21-10) and Misaki Matsumoto and Ayaka Takahashi the deciding doubles 2-0 (21-13, 21-10) as Japan booked a meeting with badminton powerhouse China on Wednesday.“I just want to make sure I will contribute tomorrow,” said Yamaguchi.Okuhara threw her support behind Yamaguchi, saying her singles win could be attributed to Yamaguchi carrying a heavy load.“Akane has been playing as the No. 1 singles player throughout team event, and that puts incredible pressure on her. I saw her fight to her full potential in her match, so I aimed to support her by getting the job done in mine,” said Okuhara, who rallied to beat Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani. Akane Yamaguchi hits the shuttlecock in the first game of her match against Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the women’s team semifinal on Tuesday in Jakarta. Yamaguchi lost 21-16, 9-21, 21-18, but Japan advanced to the final. | KYODO JAKARTA – Badminton world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi is struggling at the Asian Games, losing her second match in as many days on Tuesday, but Japan still managed to advance to the final to give the team’s star a chance to make amends.“I wasn’t so bad at the net, but it did not lead to points,” Yamaguchi told reporters after a 21-16, 9-21, 21-18 loss to home favorite Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the first singles match of the team semifinal at GBK Istora Arena. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img ASIAN GAMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 KEYWORDSlast_img read more