Ryan Newman Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 Preview

May 20, 2008

Ryan Newman
No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger
Coca-Cola 600 - Lowe's Motor Speedway
Notes & Quotes
For Immediate Release - May 20, 2008 

  • Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has seven poles, three top-five and five top-10 finishes at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 14 NASCAR Cup Series starts. Newman's best finish at the 1.5-mile track was a second-place effort in the fall of 2003.
  • Newman finished sixth in the NASCAR All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway last weekend.
  • Newman scored the first NASCAR Cup Series pole of his career at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the spring of 2001. The pole came in just his third Cup start, tying Mark Martin's record for earliest career pole. Newman currently has 43 career poles and is tied for 10th on NASCAR's all-time pole list with Buck Baker.
  • Newman's name is nearly synonymous with the pole position at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In 14 starts, Newman has taken the pole position seven times - including in both 2007 points races. He has started outside of the top-four only twice in his career.
  • Newman has two NASCAR Nationwide Starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway, both coming in 2005. Led by current crew chief Roy McCauley, Newman finished in third-place in the spring (May 28) and won in the fall (October 14).
  • Penske Racing is just one win shy of reaching the milestone of 300 victories across a variety of racing series since 1966. Newman has claimed 24 of Penske Racing's win total.

QUALIFYING AT CHARLOTTE: "Winning poles is a goal that the Alltel team has every year. It's something we want to do, and being able to win the pole at   Charlotte is a big deal. We want to be the fastest car on everyone's home turf. I don't know why I do so well at Charlotte. But qualifying well takes having a good team behind you, having the ability to hit your marks and being able to live on the edge for a couple of laps. Winning the pole gives our team that extra bit of momentum as we head into the race, and that's something we would like to have."

RACING AT CHARLOTTE: "This is a big race. It's a tough race because it is the longest race we have all year. But I like this race, and I look forward to it. We had a good test in Charlotte, and our intermediate program has really improved over the past year. I think the Alltel Dodge is going to be a really competitive car this weekend. We have had a lot of success at Charlotte winning poles, and we won a race in the Nationwide Series. Now, we want to transfer that success to the Cup race. I've been close to winning at Charlotte, and I've been leading in the closing laps and had something happen. We want to turn all that around this weekend."

THE BENEFIT OF TESTING AND THE ALL-STAR RACE AT CHARLOTTE: "We definitely learned a lot over the past few days at Charlotte. The test was a good opportunity to evaluate race setups on the tire we are running. The test gave the drivers more time to get comfortable with running the COT car and it gave us crew chiefs more time to work on the race cars, so it was a welcome test and I think it might make the racing more competitive this weekend. The All-Star weekend was another help to us. We were able to learn about tire wear and learn which tire pressures were best for us. I think that any crew chief will tell you that this weekend gave them more notes and more ideas on what might be important during the Coca-Cola 600."

QUALIFYING AT CHARLOTTE: "Ryan has a history of being a strong qualifier, particularly at Charlotte. His record there is pretty incredible, and we are going to try our best to continue his dominance there. We saw this weekend how important track position was so winning the pole on Thursday would be a step in the right direction."

PRS-555: The No. 12 Alltel Dodge for the Coca-Cola 600 is one of Penske Racing's second-generation COT cars. Although this weekend's race at Charlotte will be the car's first event, this No. 12 was tested at  Darlington in March of this year.

PRS-558: The backup No. 12 Alltel Dodge is the same car that Newman drove to a fourth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year.

5/21: Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman, along with longtime driver Kyle Petty, will be on hand to help unveil Thomas Kinkade's  newest portrait, NASCAR┬« THUNDER: The 50th Running of the DAYTONA 500┬«, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Concord, N.C. at 7 p.m. EDT. Tickets to the event are $35 and all proceeds go to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

5/23: The Penske Racing Fan Fest will be held at the Penske race shop in Mooresville, N.C. Newman will be on hand to sign autographs for the first 200 ticket holders from 9:30 to 11 a.m. ET. Penske teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. will also be  signing autographs at that time.

2008 STATS:
STARTS:                       11
WINS:                          1
POLES:                         1
TOP FIVES:                   2
TOP 10s:                      5
CURRENT POINTS:         13th

STARTS:                       235
WINS:                          13
POLES:                        43
TOP FIVES:                  63
TOP 10s:                      103

Every two weeks, fans can tune into Alltel Racing podcasts on www.alltelracing.com. The podcasts give fans the opportunity to hear No. 12 Alltel Racing driver Ryan Newman's thoughts on a variety of subjects from racing to fishing to Alltel's latest commercials. Fans can call 1-800-279-5612 to record a personalized question for Newman or you can email questions to Newman at ryannewmanmailbag@gmail.com. By listening to the podcasts, fans also have the opportunity to win Alltel Racing prizes.

The May 13th installment of the podcast features Newman and his Penske Racing teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the No.3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda in the  Ind