Relive the tension and reserved emotion of Apollo 11, mankind’s first moon landing. USA TODAY
LOUDON, New Hampshire – It is well known in the NASCAR garage that veteran driver Ryan Newman isnât a big believer when it comes to the moon landing.
So what does he think this weekend as many celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing?
âI havenât paid attention,â Newman said Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. âIs it really the 50th anniversary? Or is it the 49th?â
According to a C-SPAN/Ipsos poll released earlier this month, 6 percent of Americans believe the moon landing was staged, including 11 percent of millennials. So in the 37-driver starting lineup Sunday, statistics indicate there likely is a denier in the field.
âIâm not a denier, I just donât know, I donât believe itâs true,â Newman said. âI donât have proof to believe itâs true. I canât go off a picture or a video or whatever stage they were on. They were just trying to beat the Russians to a good photo opp.â
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Many other NASCAR drivers spoken to this weekend believe it, some reiterating what they told For The Win in February when several drivers were polled.
âI saw some really good stuff and it looks great and makes a lot of sense,â Brad Keselowski said after winning the pole for the race. âItâs cool but Iâm not going to put my head on the line. I know from the little bit of experience I have with the government, I would be completely shocked if they were able to pull that off as a hoax.”
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Austin Dillon doesnât have any doubts.
âIâm a believer we landed on the moon,â he said. âI feel like conspiracy theorists are those people that constantly cry wolf and the first time they hear something that wasnât true, theyâre like, âI told you so.â
âIâm not a big fan of âI told you so.â If you throw a thousand darts, you might hit one every now and then in the bullâs-eye.â
Even with so much attention on the Apollo 11 mission this week, Ryan Blaney didnât change his mind. He has had other things (such as racing) to worry about. And his mind, when thinking about space, thought about something else.
âI think I said the last time I [was asked], I think we landed on the moon but not when they say we did,â Blaney said. âI havenât really looked too much into it. There is not much up there but rocks, which is pretty cool. I think the Area 51 thing is interesting.â
Blaney was referencing the possible storming of the Area 51 portion of NellisÂ Air Force Base in Nevada to see if there is evidence of alien life.
âI donât think there is anything there,â Blaney said. âIt would be hilarious if theyâre like, âYeah, come in.â And thereâs nothing there and itâs like, âYeah, we do training here.â â
Ryan Preece, a rookie on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit, was caught a little off-guard by the question amid a weekend during which he is competing in two styles of race cars.
âWhat does Ryan Newman say?â he said. âHe doesnât believe it. âŠ I want to be opposite of him. I want to say it happened.â
Newmanâs response to Preece choosing to be opposite of him?
âThatâs good,â Newman said. âIt gives him a chance to be wrong.â