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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Newman visits Dixie Chopper employees

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman, left, talks to Dixie Chopper founder Art Evans over lunch Tuesday at Dixie Chopper's Fillmore plant.
FILLMORE -- With NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman in Putnam County to film some promotional pieces for Dixie Chopper, it wasn't simply a matter of secretly flying in, taking care of business and flying out.

Instead, Newman took some of his time to eat lunch with the employees of Dixie Chopper in Fillmore and answer a few questions. An owner of four Dixie Choppers, Newman took a number of questions from the men and women who make "The World's Fastest Lawnmower."

While a number of questions centered on what Newman thinks of his Dixie Choppers and what it's like to drive 200 mph, no question was off limits, including "Boxers or briefs?" (boxers) and if he might ever try his hand and open wheel racing. Newman revealed his heart will always be in stock car racing.

"The Indy 500 is cool, but the Brickyard 400 is cooler," Newman said with a grin.

A native of South Bend transplanted to North Carolina, the driver said he was glad to be back in his home state.

"It's good to be back in Indiana," he said. "You guys are probably tired of it, but it's cool to look out your back door and see cornfields."

While the session was relatively short, Newman gave his audience a small look into what it's like to be a NASCAR driver. The secret is, though, it's similar to working anywhere else. Asked if he got along with all the other drivers, he was frank.

"We tolerate each other," Newman said. He said it probably isn't that different from working at Dixie Chopper. He has his friends, he has people he's indifferent to and he has people he gets along with because it's the professional thing to do.

Questions such as "Boxer or briefs?" brought out the playful side of Ryan Newman during his visit with the Dixie Chopper employees late Tuesday morning. Newman was in the county doing promotional work for the Fillmore-based company.
After spending the first seven years of his career driving for Penske Racing, Newman has spent the last two years in the Stewart-Haas Racing, under the leadership of fellow Hoosier driver Tony Stewart. Newman said Stewart is a good boss because he doesn't act like a boss at all.

"He's never been my boss; he's been my friend," Newman said. "He doesn't have to treat me that way, but he does."

The real reasons Newman was in town, though, were the lawnmowers. Newman's land in North Carolina is in the mountains, so his Dixie Choppers take a beating, bouncing off rocks and having gotten stuck in creeks and lakes on more than one occasion.

"I run them hard, but they withstand the test," he said.

After filming, Newman remained in Greencastle for a two-hour autograph session at the Dixie Chopper Business Center before jetting back to his North Carolina home.

Newman and his Sprint Cup comrades will be in action at Saturday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The race will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. on TNT.

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hope he took time to eat at Final Approach. Their food is GREAT!

-- Posted by Trying hard on Wed, Jun 30, 2010, at 8:53 AM

Awesome story

-- Posted by mal on Wed, Jun 30, 2010, at 9:10 AM

Pictures from the autograph session will be posted on Dixie Chopper Facebook account later on today.

-- Posted by TheFastest on Wed, Jun 30, 2010, at 10:55 AM

The pictures are now posted on Dixie Chopper Facebook account.

-- Posted by TheFastest on Wed, Jun 30, 2010, at 3:06 PM

Cool, it seems Ryan is a pretty normal down to earth guy, with a lot of goonads and brains. Purdue grad and all.

-- Posted by bearcat on Thu, Jul 1, 2010, at 2:06 PM

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