Ryan Newman - NASCAR Cup Series Preview - Daytona

July 1, 2008

Ryan Newman
No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger
Coke Zero 400 - Daytona International Speedway
Notes & Quotes
For Immediate Release - July 1, 2008 

  • Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes in 13 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway. 
  • Newman's best finish in the July 400-mile Daytona July race was an 11th-place effort in 2006.
  • Newman returns to Daytona as the most recent winner at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Newman won the 2008 Daytona 500 in dramatic fashion, receiving what he called a "push from heaven" from teammate Kurt Busch on the final lap to take the checkered flag in first place. It was the first restrictor plate victory for both Newman and  Penske Racing.
  • Newman started seventh and led eight laps en route to his Daytona victory on Feb. 17th. Following the win, Newman and the No. 12 Alltel team's winning car was enshrined in the Daytona 500 Experience. Due to the Daytona 500 win, the team had to build a new car for this weekend's race. "The big problem of winning the Daytona 500 is they keep your car after the race, so we had to build a new car," crew chief Roy McCauley said.
  • Much was made of Newman's diet following his win in the Daytona 500 in February. Prior to the race, Newman had only eaten three homemade chocolate chip cookies - made by his wife Krissie in their motorhome - and a banana. "Last year when we were having some bad luck, Krissie started making the cookies and when she would make them we would get a top 10 or top five. She made them in Daytona and we won.  After the race, the guys told her she would have to make them every week- but she won't do that because she says that she is watching my diet. But the guys made her promise to make them again this weekend." 

WINNING THE DAYTONA 500: "Winning the Daytona 500 was a dream come true - not just for me, but for everyone who has helped me along the way. My family. Penske Racing. It was really just a special moment for all of us. I don't think that I realized the significance of winning the 50th Running of the Daytona 500 immediately, but I knew that something special had happened the moment I crossed the finish line. We had a brand new car down there for that race, and they took it away from us and put it in the Daytona 500 Experience. The guys at the shop went back to work and built us another car, and I don't see any reason we can't go back to Daytona this weekend and try to win again. Our goal is to just have a good weekend and make up points."

SURVIVING AT DAYTONA: "The key to Daytona is just staying out of trouble. You want to have a fast car. You want to be up front, because hopefully that's where the wrecks won't be. And you have to have a little racing luck on your side-just be in the right place at the right time. You have to have good fundamentals, solid pit stops and you have to keep your fenders clean. You don't want to knock in what is making you go fast."

RETURNING TO DAYTONA: "I think we're all looking forward to going back to Daytona. That was a great moment for the No. 12 Alltel team and the entire Penske organization. While it will be nice to be back there and look back on that day, we are focused on this weekend's race and having another good run in the Alltel Dodge at Daytona. It will be different this weekend because we're under the lights and they have completely changed the tire. So, we'll just have to adjust the grip accordingly. The same issues will be prevalent though. The car will fight for overall grip after about 10 laps, and the summer heat will make the track even slicker which will make it harder to grip the track. Our goal will be to give Ryan as much grip as possible to go wide open around the race track. Because at      Daytona, it's the best handling car that wins the race"

PRS-524: Since Newman's Daytona 500 winning Dodge is currently enshrined in the Daytona 500 Experience museum, Newman brings a different car back to Daytona. The No. 12 Alltel Dodge that will serve as team's primary car is the same car that he piloted at Talladega in April.  Newman led five laps and finished eighth in that race.

PRS-573: The backup No. 12 Alltel Dodge for this weekend's race is a brand new Penske car.

7/1:   Beginning today, fans can place bids in the Alltel Racing online charity auction at www.alltelracing.com. Various autographed items are up for bid. Net proceeds will benefit the Ryan Newman Foundation.

7/4:  Newman will sign autographs at the Alltel souvenir trailer at Daytona International Speedway at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Visit the souvenir trailer for ticket information.

7/4: As champion of the 50th Running of the Daytona 500, Newman will be inducted into the Daytona 500 Experience Walk of Fame at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The ceremony will include a Q&A with fans at the Daytona 500 Experience and the addition of Newman's hand and footprints into the Walk of Fame.

2008 STATS:
STARTS:                       17
WINS:                          1
POLES:                         1
TOP FIVES:                   2
TOP 10s:                      6
CURRENT POINTS:         15th

STARTS:                       241
WINS:                          13
POLES:                         43
TOP FIVES:                   63
TOP 10s:                      104

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 th