Ryan Newman Clinches Pole Position at Phoenix

April 11, 2008

AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 10, 2008) - Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No.12 Alltel Dodge Charger, will start from the pole position on Saturday, April 12, as he prepares to lead the NASCAR Cup field to the green flag at Phoenix International Raceway for the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

Newman, who was fastest in practice on Thursday, turned the quickest lap of Friday's qualifying session with a time of 26.975 seconds (133.457 mph). It is Newman’s first pole position of the 2008 season and it makes him eligible for the 2009 Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.

The pole is the 43rd of Newman’s career, tying him for 10th on the all-time pole winner’s list with legendary driver Buck Baker. It is also Newman’s fourth pole at Phoenix, where he has previously won poles in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Newman’s run established a new track record as he became the only driver with four pole positions at Phoenix.

“It wasn’t a perfect lap,” Newman said after setting his fast time. “I was a bit conservative out there, but obviously I wasn’t too conservative. I wanted to back up our effort in practice, and we were able to do that.”

Newman, who has three top-fives at Phoenix International Raceway, is still looking for his first win at the one-mile oval. His best finish came in 2003, when he finished second.

“It’s been a while since I have felt a car this good around this race track,” Newman said after qualifying. “The Alltel Dodge team has gotten off on a good foot here at Phoenix, and we are excited about the race on Saturday night. I feel like we are very competitive.”

The Subway Fresh Fit 500 will air live on FOX on Saturday, April 12, 2008, beginning at 8 p.m. EDT. The race will also be broadcast live on MRN beginning at 8:30 p.m. EDT.