Ryan Newman's Kodak/Mummy Dodge Leads Penske Racing at Chicago

July 14, 2008


JOLIET, Ill. (July 12, 2008) - Penske Racing drivers Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished 10th, 28th and 37th respectively in Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

After inclement weather cancelled qualifying Thursday night at Chicagoland Speedway, the field was set by the 2008 owner points. Newman and his No. 12 Kodak-Mummy Dodge lined up 17th for the start of the 267-lap race on Saturday night. A key pit call for two tires under a late caution period helped Newman gain valuable track position, and he was able to finish 10th, his seventh top-10 finish of the 2008 season. Newman is currently 16th in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings, 189 points away from the 12th-place cutoff for the Chase for the NASCAR Cup.

"We made some things happen tonight with our strategy on pit road, and we got a good finish," said Newman. "To get back in the Chase, we have to get top 10 finishes each week."

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driver Busch experienced some bad luck at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night. Starting from the 18th spot, Busch climbed into the top 15 and ran there consistently through the first third of the race. After making a pit stop on Lap 104, Busch immediately radioed to his Miller Lite crew that the cone at the pit entrance, his mark signifying the beginning of pit lane speed limit enforcement, was moved. Crew chief Pat Tryson pleaded with the NASCAR officials, but the team was assessed a "pass-through" penalty for speeding entering the pits. On Lap 202 Busch started experiencing engine problems, but was able to nurse his ailing Miller Lite Dodge home to a 28th place finish.

Busch is 18th in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings, 245 points out of 12th place.

"All we can do is try to regroup during the off weekend next week and come back ready to throw everything we have at them in these final seven races before the Chase," said Busch. "Thank goodness that we have some really good tracks coming up on the schedule."

Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge made his NASCAR Cup Series racing debut at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night, finishing in 37th place. Starting from the 35th spot, Hornish and team worked relentlessly to improve the handling of his Mobil 1 Dodge throughout the race, but were unable to make up lost laps. Due to the hard work by the No. 77 team, the group now sits 34th in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner points standings, an improvement of one spot.

"We started off pretty good. We were real happy with the car during the first part of the race," said Hornish. "I'm not really sure what happened but it was a pretty frustrating night for all of us on the Mobil 1 team. I was really happy the guys gave me some great pit stops tonight and that's probably the only thing that kept us finishing as well as we did. We'll keep pushing at it and hopefully we'll get it figured out sooner than later."

After a week off, the Penske Racing trio returns to action on Sunday, July 27 for the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race can be seen live on the ESPN television network at 1 p.m. EDT and heard on the IMS Radio Network at 2 p.m. EDT.