Ryan Newman Starts Eighth in NASCAR All-Star Race

May 16, 2008

CONCORD, N.C.  (May 16, 2008) - Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No.12 Alltel Dodge Charger, qualified eighth for the 24th-Annual NASCAR All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

Unlike points races, the million-dollar non-points event has a unique qualifying round. Qualifying focuses on both driver and over-the-wall crew. Each car in the All-Star race completes a pit stop in addition to the normal two-lap qualifying run. The quickest combined time wins the pole.

Newman and his Alltel pit crew posted the eighth fastest time of the night, 124.179 seconds. Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota, took the pole with an overall time of 121.956.

"Everything was good with the Alltel Dodge," Newman said. "I didn't think my laps were great, but they were good and the boys did a good job with the pit stop. I think we have a solid starting spot for the Alltel Dodge.

"Track position is key in this race because you never know what is going to happen. We turned good, consistent laps in qualifying and I felt like we had a decent race car after practice today. We're excited about tomorrow night's race - it should be a lot of fun."

On Saturday night, Newman will try to win the 100-lap race, which is broken into four 25-lap segments. Newman won the All-Star race in his rookie season in 2002, becoming only the second rookie to win the non-points event. He also has four top-10 finishes in six starts.

Coverage of the NASCAR All-Star race begins on Saturday night on SPEED at 7:30 p.m. ET. The 100-lap All-Star Race will follow the Showdown qualifying race.

DRIVER: Ryan Newman

POLE: Kyle Busch

3. Kurt Busch

8. Sam Hornish Jr.
* Hornish Jr. qualified for the Showdown, the qualifying race that will be held prior to the All-Star Race on Saturday night. The two top finishers and one fan favorite will transfer into the All-Star race.