Ryan Newman Leads Penske Contingent at Bristol

August 25, 2008

BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 23, 2008) - Penske Racing drivers Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished sixth, 15th and 37th respectively in Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Newman and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team started in 11th place and was a strong competitor throughout the night, running as high as second in the 500-lap event at the .533-mile concrete oval. With his solid sixth-place finish, Newman gained two spots and moved into 15th place in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series driver point standings, 181 points behind the 12th-place cutoff for the 2008 "Chase for the NASCAR Cup."

"It was a good run for the Alltel Dodge," Newman said after the race. "We got up to second place at one point in the race, got a little bit loose and fell back, but we held our own. I'm proud of my guys and how they battled here all night. It was a solid top-10 for our team and that's a good day here at Bristol."

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driver Busch started 19th and stayed tough all night long to come home with a 15th place finish. Busch remains 19th in the Cup Series point standings, with 2,442 total driver points after 24 races have been completed. He is 1,167 out of first, 479 behind 10th place and 413 behind 12th.

"It was pretty typical of the way so many races have gone for us this year," said Busch, who was able to finish in the lead lap with the help of getting the "Lucky Dog" free pass on two different occasions. "Just a typical performance in that our chassis seems to give us one strong run before the tight condition takes its toll. We finished 15th and until we can get the front end of our cars to turn better, that's about as strong of finish as we can expect."

With newly-appointed crew chief Travis Geisler at the helm of the No. 77 Mobil 1 team, Hornish finished 37th after starting the night in the 35th spot. Hornish ran well until he was collected in a multi-car accident on lap 216. The Mobil 1 crew worked hard and was able to return Hornish to the 500-lap race, ensuring the No. 77 team remained in the top-35 in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owners points standings.

"It was a disappointing night for the Mobil 1 team," said Hornish after the race. "Everybody got together pushing each other real hard and we got caught up in the accident. There's not a lot of room out there and little time to react. There just wasn't anywhere to go.

"Before the accident, I feel that I learned quite a bit about getting around the track here at Bristol. I think we will see the results of that when we return here next season. I'm proud of this team tonight. Even though we only gained 12 points by returning the race, those points helped us remain in the top-35 in owner points. Every point counts."

The Penske Racing Trio head west to Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, Calif., next weekend for the Sunday night's Pepsi 500. Racing action will be televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast on MRN at 7:15 p.m. EDT.