CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ryan Newman had to open his checkbook the last time he spoke out at Talladega.
Fed up about the style of racing, he said in 2010 fans shouldn’t even bother going to the track. He was punished with a secret fine that didn’t come to light for months, and the true amount has never been revealed.
But it’s precedent that could cost him following his strong rebuke of NASCAR on live television Sunday.
Newman, no stranger to harrowing accidents at restrictor-plate tracks, had just witnessed Kurt Busch’s car barrel-roll on top of his at the end of a long and dreary day. The closing laps of a Talladega race are frantic by nature, and on Sunday it was wet and cold and getting darker by the second when the 12-car accident erupted on the backstretch with six laps remaining.
Newman was as frustrated as anybody would be after a 3,400-pound car had just landed on top of their hood.
But he was also fed up.
So he stepped up to the live television camera and let it all out.
“They can build safer race cars, they can build safer walls. But they can’t get their heads out of their (expletive) far enough to keep them on the race track, and that’s pretty disappointing,” Newman said. “I wanted to make sure I get that point across. Y’all can figure out who ‘they’ is.”
He continued on to criticize NASCAR for restarting the race with 10 laps remaining despite the looming darkness. Rain had forced a three hour, 36 minute delay midway through the race and Talladega doesn’t have lights.
“That’s no way to end a race. That’s just poor judgment in restarting the race, poor judgment,” Newman said. “I mean, you got what you wanted, but poor judgment and running in the dark and running in the rain. That’s it, thank you.”