Newman Finishes 36th at New Hampshire

September 14, 2008

LOUDON, N.H. (September 14, 2008) - Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Penske Racing Kodak Dodge team suffered engine problems midway through the running of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Despite the problems, Newman continued to battle on the track but was unable to continue at lap 288, causing Newman to finish the race in 36th place.

"It just wasn't our day today," Newman said following the race.

Newman is now 17th in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings, 269 points out of 13th place, with nine races left in the 2008 Cup Series season.

Due to rain, Friday's qualifying session was cancelled and the field was set by the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner point standings. Newman started 17th on Sunday afternoon.

Early in the 300-lap race, Newman radioed crew chief Roy McCauley that the No. 12 machine was very loose-handling, and by lap five, Newman had dropped six spots to 23rd place.  As the race continued under green flag conditions, Newman reported that the No. 12 Kodak Dodge was tightening up, especially from the center of the turn through the exit.

The Kodak pit crew had their first opportunity to work on the race car when NASCAR threw a competition caution at lap 35 due to heavy rains at the track on Sunday morning. Under the yellow flag, the team pitted for right side tires in hopes of making up lost track position. The team also made track bar and air pressure adjustments and added fuel.

The quick pit stop put Newman out on the track in seventh place, but NASCAR penalized Newman for exiting pit road too quickly. The penalty placed the No. 12 Dodge at the tail end of the longest line, and Newman restarted in 41st place on lap 40.

With ground to make up due to the speeding penalty, Newman tried to gain track position, but he reported that the No. 12 continued to have handling issues. Again, Newman said the car was "horribly loose" in the early stages of a run but became "just as tight as he had been loose" as a green-flag run progressed.

By lap 80, Newman had moved up to 32nd place. A caution flag three laps later gave the team another opportunity to assist the ill-handling race car and the Kodak pit crew changed four tires, added fuel and made wedge and air pressure adjustments.

Following the pit stop, Newman returned to the track for the restart at lap 88 in 27th place. Over the course of the next 80 laps Newman held his spot and battled to stay on the lead lap. Although the handling of his car had improved, at about lap 190 Newman reported to his crew that the No. 12 had engine issues and was down on power.

With less power, Newman slowly began dropping through the field, and had fallen back to 34th place, two laps down to the leader, when the caution flag waved at lap 213. Under the caution flag, Newman's crew looked under the hood of the No. 12 Kodak Dodge and confirmed Newman's diagnosis.

Despite the engine issue, Newman continued to battle on the race track and with just a handful of laps remaining in the race, Newman's engine failed. He finished 36th, 15 laps down to the leaders.

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished sixth and 30th, respectively.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action next Sunday, September 21, at the Dover International Speedway with the Camping World RV 400. The race can be seen live on the ABC television network at 1 p.m.  EDT and heard on the MRN radio network at 1:15 p.m. EDT.

 Ryan Newman, Driver of the No. 12 Kodak Dodge



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 Race Winner: Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)