Kurt Busch Leads Penske Racing Contingent at Pocono

June 9, 2008

LONG POND, Pa. (June 8, 2008) - Penske Racing drivers Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr. finish 8, 18 and 42nd respectively in Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. Busch and Newman are getting ever-closer to the top-12 in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series driver's standings - Newman is a mere 10 points from 12th place and Busch narrowed his gap to the cutoff position by 50 points. Hornish remains locked into the top-35 in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner's point standings.

Busch and his Pat Tryson-led No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team started the 200 lap race from the 11th spot and rebounded from an early-race spin to finish a strong eighth. "We were struggling early with a real loose race car and at the end we were very, very tight," Busch explained immediately after the race concluded. "It worked out perfect with those yellows (caution flags) during the mid-portion of the race. We were able to do fuel only one time. We were able to do two tires the next and probably leap-frog 15 guys. Maybe the Miller Lite Dodge didn't finish eighth with speed, but we did it with pit strategy."

Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Kodak Dodge team started 27th and endured a variety of highs and lows in the Pocono 500 Sunday afternoon. Newman ran as high as seventh on several occasions, but as various pit strategies played out at the end of the race, Newman was relegated to an 18th place finish.

"We struggled with the Kodak Dodge all weekend at Pocono," Newman said. "We were able to get the balance right during the race on a couple of different runs, but I had my hands full most of the day. There were so many cars around me that I really couldn't go anywhere. We've got our work cut out for us so that we can come back to Pocono in a few weeks and be a contender."

Sam Hornish Jr. and his Chris Carrier-led No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge team finished 42nd. Hornish had qualified 41st, but due to an incident in final practice Saturday afternoon, had to start the 200-lap race at the tail end of the field in No. 77 backup car. Having practiced for six laps in the backup machine prior to the race start, Hornish and the Mobil 1 team had little idea of how the car would handle during the 500-mile event.

"It was a pretty disappointing day for us," said Hornish. "We really thought we were getting a good handle on the Mobil 1 Dodge. But I got involved in a couple altercations early on. That last one, I just couldn't keep the back end underneath me and went up into the 40 car. The guys tried to get the car fixed to get back out there. It's unfortunate for sure but we'll just keep working our way at it and move forward to Michigan."

The Penske Racing trio heads to Michigan International Speedway for next weekend's LifeLock 400. Coverage for the 200 lap/400 mile race begins at 12:30 p.m. EDT starting time on the TNT network and 1:15 p.m. on MRN radio.