Ryan Newman is drawing inspiration from one of NASCAR's top drivers as he prepares for his first run at Darlington Raceway.
''I'll always remember watching Jeff Gordon win so many times at Darlington,'' Newman said of the three-time Winston Cup champion who has five victories on the old country track. ''It's really neat for me to see someone who came from the same background that I did do so well.''
The 23-year-old driver is running an ''ABC'' schedule for Penske Racing South, competing in a blend of ARCA, Busch and Winston Cup races, in preparation for a full-time Winston Cup ride in 2002.
Newman finished ninth in his first Busch start, in Rockingham, N.C., and was 32nd last weekend after starting from the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He also won the ARCA event at Daytona, and finished 33rd in the Winston Cup race in Las Vegas.
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