Ryan Newman Finishes Sixth in NASCAR All-Star Race

May 18, 2008

CONCORD, N.C. (May 17, 2008) - Ryan Newman called Saturday night's NASCAR All-Star Race a good learning experience for the No. 12 Penske Racing Alltel Dodge team which will help them better prepare for next weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.  After starting eighth in the 100-lap non-points event, Newman finished in sixth place.

"The Alltel Dodge was decent tonight, and I think we learned some things that will help us come back here with a better car for next week's race," Newman said following the caution-free race. "Track position was everything tonight. We opted for two tires on the final pit stop, and some of the guys in front of us didn't take any.  Sixth-place is a solid finish, and we'll take what we learned and hopefully improve on that next Sunday."

Unlike "standard" points races, the NASCAR All-Star race has a unique format in which teams compete in four 25-lap segments. After the second segment, the teams stop for a 10-minute break where they can work on the race cars. Following the third segment, the teams must come down pit road and stop in their box before returning to the track for the fourth and final segment.

Newman started segment one in eighth spot. By lap three of the first 25 laps, Newman had moved into the fourth position on the race track. Despite gaining positions on the track, he told crew chief Roy McCauley that the Alltel Dodge was a little bit free getting into the corners and tight in the center of the corners.

At the conclusion of the first segment, Newman came down pit road for two right side tires and fuel, along with track bar and wedge adjustments to help with the balance of the car.  Newman returned to the track in second place, which is where he started the second 25-lap segment of the night.

In that second segment, Newman continued to struggle with his car's handling, complaining that he was loose on entry into the corners and really tight in the middle of the turns.  At lap 50, Newman was holding on to fourth place.

During the halfway-point 10-minute break, Newman and his crew discussed various options to help the Alltel Dodge's handling issues. After a routine four tire and fuel pit stop, the Alltel team opted to make several adjustments to the No. 12 car, including air pressure, track bar, wedge and the removal of a rubber out of the left rear.

Newman started the third segment in fourth place. Although Newman said the adjustments had improved the car's entry into corners, he said he still needed more help with the handling of his car in the center of the turns. At the end of the third 25-lap segment, the Alltel Dodge remained in fourth.

As the team prepared to make the mandatory trip down pit road at the end of the third segment, Newman told McCauley that "track position was more important than working on the car." After three caution-free segments, McCauley agreed.  Newman brought the No. 12 car down pit road for a quick stop, changing two right side tires, adding fuel and making another track bar adjustment to aid the handling of the car. He returned to the track in fifth place.

Despite the fresh tires and the adjustment, Newman's car was still too tight, which hampered him in some close racing on the track. Newman battled throughout the closing laps of the race and managed to hold on to a sixth-place finish.

"I do think we learned some valuable lessons for next week," Newman said. "We didn't have the car to put ourselves in the position to win tonight. Hopefully, we will come back next week with a better car thanks to what we learned tonight."

Next week, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600. The race can be seen on the FOX television network beginning at 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 25. The race can also be heard on the PRN radio network.

Ryan Newman, Driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge



Laps Completed/


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 Race Winner: Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)