Ryan Newman understands a spot in this year's Chase field is on the line in Saturday night's Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway but is also aware of what else the night means to so many others.
Saturday night's race falls on September 11 which brings with it much emotion that Newman believes deserves respect.
"Competing for a win and battling for a berth in the Chase are what we strive for as race car drivers," said Newman. "And that will continue to be our approach heading into Richmond this weekend.
"But when you look at the date of Saturday night's race - Sept. 11 - I feel it's important to sit back and reflect about what happened on that day and of the many sacrifices our Army Strong Soldiers are making so we can enjoy our freedom."
Newman says he is proud to be carrying the U.S Army colors on his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet on such an occasion.
"I am proud to wear the Army uniform and wearing it Saturday night on 9/11 will make me even more proud," he said. "We will be racing with a heavy heart."
Newman will have his work cut out for him as he tries to overcome a 117-point deficit Clint Bowyer holds coming into Saturday night's event in the race for the final Chase transfer spot.
"It's evident that you don't need an engineering degree to figure out our odds of making the Chase," said Newman. "Mathematically, we still have a chance, and I guess that means something. But you can't expect to make up all of those points in one shot."
Newman has a stellar record at the .75-mile Richmond track including three straight top-10 finishes. He has also posted top 10s in the last two series' events and is hoping to bring that momentum with him into the last race of the regular season.
"Again, our position in the standings is not going to change how we will approach the Richmond race," Newman said. "History will show that this No. 39 Army team has had success on short tracks and with that said we're looking to be running up front just like we did in the past two races in Bristol and Atlanta."