Ryan Newman Finishes 37th at Darlington Raceway

May 11, 2008

Ryan Newman, Driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge



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 Race Winner: Kyle Busch (No. 18 Indiana Jones/M&M's Toyota) 

DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 9, 2008) - Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Penske Racing Alltel Dodge team endured a frustrating night at the 1.366-mile Darlington Raceway on Saturday, finishing the Dodge Challenger 500 in 37th place.

A broken rear end at lap 238 caused Newman to spin under the caution and hit the wall. Newman drove his Alltel Dodge to the infield garage area for significant repairs and was able to return to the race track and finish the race 73 laps down.

"It was just a disappointing night for the Alltel Dodge," Newman said. "We had problems throughout the race, and it ended up costing us in the points. We're going to have to work harder and hopefully rebound at Charlotte."

Newman is currently 13th in the NASCAR Cup points standings, just two points shy of 12th-place cut-off for the NASCAR Chase.

After qualifying 32nd for the Dodge Challenger 500 on Friday, Newman knew his team would have its work cut out for them. At the drop of the green flag, Newman took off and was able to power by several cars in front of him.

When the caution flag waved at lap 11, Newman had already moved up to 25th place, but his problems began then. Newman had to come down pit road for damage to his left front splitter. The team quickly repaired and fueled the No. 12 Dodge, returning to the track in 40th place.

Back on track, Newman reported that the No. 12 Alltel Dodge was tight, especially in turns three and four. Despite the ill-handling condition, he was making up ground. When green flag pit stops began at lap 55, Newman was in 29th place.

Newman came down pit road under the green flag for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help his tight-handling condition. He returned to the track in 19th place, but was forced to give up the spot and come back down pit road for a pass-through penalty due to a tire violation on the pit stop. Newman returned to the track in 40th place, two laps down to the leading cars.

Despite having the ability to catch the leaders and getting one of his lost laps back, Newman continued battling an ill-handling race car. The Alltel team made several adjustments on a series of pit stops to help the No. 12's handling problems. The stops helped as Newman moved up as high as 25th, one lap down to the leader, before problems struck once more.

Following a pit stop under the yellow flag at lap 238, Newman began to pull off pit road when he reported that it felt like something was broken in the rear of the car. Once on the track, the problem caused Newman to spin, damaging the right side and the front of the car.

Newman pulled into the garage, and the team diagnosed the problem as a broken rear end. After the extensive repairs and body work, Newman was able to return to the track at lap 306 and finish the race in 37th place.

The  NASCAR Cup Series returns to action next Saturday night for the NASCAR All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The non-points race can be seen live on SPEED at 7:30 p.m.  EDT and heard on the PRN radio network.