Kurt Busch Wins at New Hampshire To Lead Penske Racing NASCAR Trio

June 30, 2008

LOUDON, N.H (June 29, 2008) - Penske Racing No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch and his Pat-Tryson led team brought home the checkered flag in Sunday's rain-shortened LENOX Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway while teammates Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr. finished 15th and 39th respectively. Keyed by great call late in the race that kept Busch out on track while the other leaders pitted for fuel, the Miller Lite team enjoyed its first NASCAR Cup win of the season after the rains came at Loudon, forcing an early ending to the race.

"It was a good weekend for us working through our new test data that we put together from Milwaukee (Tuesday test) this week," said Busch, as he celebrated his 18th career Sprint Cup Series victory. "We came with a different package and felt that we were a bit more competitive. You know, as hard as we're working, you can't just point to one thing and say that's what helped us get to Victory Lane. We're working hard. We're testing all the time and we're on the gas trying to get our 2, 12 and 77 teams up, running competitive every week. So it's hard to put your finger on one thing. We'll definitely think about what Milwaukee gave us, our fuel mileage, and just the heart of this team."

Busch started Sunday's race from the 26th position. Although he admitted that he didn't have the fastest car on the track, Busch was just as thrilled that his team won on a strategy call as he would have been with a dominant victory. The race was called as official due to adverse weather conditions with 17 laps remaining in the scheduled distance.

"Today was a good car and that put us in position to stretch our fuel a little bit," Busch said at the post-race press conference, with Tryson sitting by his side. "When we could make it to the end, we pitted. We needed a few laps to help us. But we were going to be loaded for bear and ready to rock n' roll if it came down to the end. When everybody pitted with 30 laps to go, when I was told, you're in the lead, there's 26 laps to go, that's the most motivation a driver could ever ask for because you want to hold it off and bring it home for your team. So we were going to have our work cut out for us. I felt we could have held off some the guys right behind us, and pit strategy worked out perfect. It's all credit to Pat Tryson."

Newman started 16th in his No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger. At lap 271 out of 301, while running in ninth place, the caution waved for a multi-car incident behind him. Knowing that the No.12 machine did not have fuel to go the distance, the team elected to pit under the caution flag along with other cars also running in the top 15. The team pitted for two seconds worth of fuel and returned to the track for the restart at lap 278 in 15th place. Just two laps later, the caution waved again for a spin on the track. As the heavy rains began to fall, Newman and the No. 12 Alltel team came to pit lane under the red flag and once the race was called official they were credited with a 15th-place finish.

"It was a tough call on pit strategy at the end," Newman said, now 15th in the NASCAR Cup driver point standings, 96 points shy of the 12th place cutoff for the 2008 NASCAR Chase for the Cup. "We couldn't have made it on fuel to the end of the race, so we pitted. It's a tough way for our day to end since we were running in the top 10."

After starting in the 20th position, Hornish Jr. and No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge team secured a 39th-place finish in his first race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Hornish battled a loose-handling race car for much of the race, but was able to maintain a top-35 position in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Car Series owners point standings.

"It was a tough day out there today," said Hornish after the race. "It's difficult when you're racing lead-lap cars and lap-down cars at the same time. Hopefully we will get things turned around in our direction soon." The No. 77 is currently 34th in the 2008 owner point standings, a mere 35 points from 33rd spot.

The Penske Racing trio returns to action next Saturday night, July 5, for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, the site of Newman's win in the 50th Running of the Daytona 500 in February. The race can be seen live on the TNT network at 6:30 p.m. EDT and heard on MRN radio at 7:15 p.m. EDT.