Mechanical Failure Relegates Newman to 42nd at Michigan

June 15, 2008

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 15, 2008) - Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Penske Racing Alltel Dodge team felt they would contend for a solid finish at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday in the LifeLock 400, but a mechanical failure sent Newman to the garage at lap 74 for extensive repairs.  After getting back on track, an engine failure with a mere 16 laps remaining ended Newman's day and relegated the team to a 42nd place finish.

"Things just didn't go our way today," said Newman.

Newman is currently 17th in the NASCAR Cup point standings, 123 points shy of the 12th place cutoff for the 2008 NASCAR Chase for the Cup.

Rain cancelled qualifying on Friday at Michigan. Per the NASCAR Rule Book, the field was set by 2008 owner points and Newman started the race in 14th place.

Just a handful of laps into the race, Newman radioed that the Alltel Dodge was tight-handling and by lap 20, he had fallen back to 18th place. Newman reported to the crew that he was mostly tight in the center of the turns and that the water temperature gauge was reading higher than it should be.

After viewing the car on track, crew chief Roy McCauley told Newman that trash on the car's grille was probably the cause of the temperature spike. McCauley told Newman to keep an eye on the temperature gauge and the team would clean the grille on the next pit stop.

Newman made a green flag pit stop at lap 37. The Alltel team changed four tires, added fuel, made a track bar adjustment and cleaned the grille of the No. 12 Dodge. By the time green flag pit stops cycled through, Newman was in 19th place.

At lap 50, Newman was in 22nd place and told the crew that his car was too loose off of the corners and not able to grip the track. "I can get into the gas and through the center as good as these guys, but I'm not as fast," Newman said.

As the team began devising a plan to help improve the grip issues on the upcoming pit stop, Newman reported that his car had a vibration.  At lap 74, the vibration brought Newman down pit road. "I just broke something," Newman told his crew.

After Newman came to a stop, the Alltel crew looked under the hood, diagnosed the problem and pushed the No. 12 machine back to the NASCAR Cup garage for extensive repairs.

The No. 12 returned to the track at lap 143 and ran well, but an engine failure at lap 184 ended Newman's attempt to complete the race. He finished in 42nd place, 89 laps behind the leader.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action next Sunday, June 22 for the Toyota Save-Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. The race can be seen live on TNT at 3:30 p.m. EDT and heard on PRN at 5 p.m. EDT. 

Ryan Newman, Driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge



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DNF (Engine)


 Race Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet)