You could say Ryan Newman doesn’t have a big personality, and you’d be right. He’s very much the quiet Midwestern type.But he does know how to laugh along with a joke.Even at his own expense.“Ogres don’t have emotions. You know that,” he said after winning at Indianapolis on Sunday.That was a poke at himself, but also a joke back at Kyle Busch, who’d called him a “big ogre” after getting mad at him for a wreck in New Hampshire two weeks earlier.See? Newman’s not all serious.Although, right now, who could blame him?The 35-year-old from South Bend, Ind., doesn’t have a job for next year. Stewart Haas Racing said no to re-upping his contract (just a few days before he was called an ogre), so he’s finishing out the string this year.He has decent prospects if he can put together a good year. He’s put himself in position for a run at a spot in the Chase for the Championship.But it’s been 10 years since he had a season with more than one win. It could be that he’s peaked.He’s likely to get a ride. But he might not ever be in better equipment than he is now.“It makes it better, looking for something for 2014,” Newman said of the victory. “There’s a lot of questions to be answered. We’ll get through all that.”At least Newman had a week off between losing his ride and his hometown race in Indy to think about things.“That weekend off, I think, was good timing, to be able to hit control-alt-delete,” he said.Newman has at least put himself back on the radar for potential employers.He has a sponsor he could bring with him. His team also got something for its résumé with the Indy win.“I got fired a couple weeks ago, come back here, win the pole, win the race,” he said. “It’s all because of hard effort. It’s all because they haven’t given up. They want to win just as bad as I do. I did a good job of not hitting the fence, hitting the pit stall box, and they did their job. We always rally behind each other. That’s why it’s a team sport and it makes it so tough.“I’m only a percentage of what gets us to Victory Lane. It’s not a free throw. It’s not a slow pitch. There’s tough stuff going on out there. These guys are behind me, and I’m behind them.”Doesn’t sound like much of an ogre.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760 Twitter @calexmendez