Penske Racing Trio Makes Gains on Cup Standings at Dover

June 2, 2008

DOVER, Del. (June 1, 2008) - Despite issues on pit road and handling problems, Penske Racing drivers Ryan Newman, Sam Hornish Jr. and Kurt Busch made gains in the NASCAR points standings with their 14th, 18th and 20th place finishes during Sunday's Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Newman is currently 14th in the NASCAR Cup point standings, 29 points shy of the 12th-place cutoff for the NASCAR Chase for the Cup. His No. 12 Alltel Dodge qualified 11th and ran solidly in the top 10 for most of the day, including taking the lead for six laps, but a late-race problem with a fuel system bracket, which made it difficult to fuel the car on a green flag pit stop, dropped Newman to the 14th-place finish.

"The Alltel Dodge was OK today," said Newman. "We got in the top 10 and we were able to stay there for most of the day - we even led a few laps. But we had a problem with a fuel system bracket. We ended up having to pit under green to fix it since there weren't any cautions, and that cost us our top 10 finish."

Hornish, driver of the No. 77 Penske Truck Rental Dodge, started 16th and captured his second top-20 finish in a row with an 18th place showing at the Monster Mile. Battling a tight-handling car for most of the race, Hornish was running in the top 10 when a pit road violation cost the team valuable track position. The No. 77 team then fought back for a solid finish, placing them 33rd in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner point standings. Hornish is now tied for the lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year point standings.

"It was a long day for sure. We should have been a lot better than where we ended up," said Hornish. "I sped out of pit lane and that hurt us. I think we would have had a top-15 so it cost us a couple of spots. The Penske Truck Rental guys did a great job for me in the pits. I feel like these are the finishes that we should have been having all year. We're starting to turn the corner a little bit so hopefully we'll keep it going."

Busch started the 400-lap event from the outside pole. Although handling problems from the drop of the green flag and a broken dry-break connection in the fueling system worked to relegate the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driver to a 20th-place finish, he still made a 33-point dent in his deficit to 12th-place Kasey Kahne.

"We were so loose at the beginning of the race that I was about to crash it every lap," Busch said. "The front of the car was pushing and the rear was loose. We went down six rounds on the track bar and it was still one of the most wicked-handling cars I've driven in my career. We were still hanging on the lead lap until we had to pit under green and the dry-break in the fuel system had broken. We went from running top-15 and on the lead lap to running laps down and just trying to hang on and finish. We tried to stay out longer than the leaders, hoping to get a caution and make up some ground, but the yellows never came when we needed them."

The Penske Racing trio now heads to Pocono Raceway for the Pocono 500. Action gets under way on Friday with practice set from Noon until 1:30 p.m. and qualifying at 3:40 p.m. Saturday's schedule calls for practice from 10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. and the final "Happy Hour" practice session from 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Sunday's Pocono 500 (200 laps/500 miles) has a 2:00 p.m. EDT starting time and features live coverage by TNT-TV and MRN Radio.