Engine Failure Relegates Newman to 43rd at Talladega

October 5, 2008

TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 5, 2008) - Superspeedways have been a strong suit for Ryan Newman and the No. 12 Penske Racing Alltel Dodge throughout the 2008 season, beginning with a season-opening victory in the Daytona 500 in February. However, Newman suffered engine problems early in the AMP Energy 500 and ended the final superspeedway race of the season at Talladega Superspeedway with a 43rd-place finish.

With six races remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series season, Newman is 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver point standings.

"Something broke in the motor, and that was it for the Alltel Dodge," Newman said after the No. 12 machine was retired for the day. "The car just shut off on pit road, and when we finally got it re-fired, I knew there was a problem.

"It's really a shame. We have had some really good superspeedway races this season. I was trying to just hang out back there and stay out of trouble so we would have a shot at the end of the race."

Newman started in 24th place for the AMP Energy 500 on Sunday afternoon at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. With the drop of the green flag, the high-speed jockeying for position began. Newman raced in three and four-wide packs of cars in the draft early on in the race, moving as high as 15th place and as low as 38th place.

The first caution of the day waved at lap 34 for debris. Newman came down pit road in 38th place for four fresh tires and fuel.

"I'm really just riding around out there right now," Newman said after the pit stop. "There really hasn't been anywhere to go." Newman went on to tell the crew that he was trying to stay out of trouble early in the race.

Newman returned to the track for the restart in 28th place at lap 38. Again, he battled with the field of cars to find the fastest line on the race track.

Just seven laps later, the caution flag waved again and that is when trouble struck for Newman.

As Newman came down pit road, he had to brake to avoid teammate Kurt Busch, who was leaving his pit stall. Newman got to his pit stall and the Alltel crew quickly fueled the No. 12 Dodge, but when it was time to return to the track, Newman could not re-fire the car.

The pit crew tried to help Newman get the car re-started by pushing him down pit road a couple of times. On the third try, Newman's Alltel Dodge finally re-fired. But as he exited pit road, he reported that he had lost a cylinder in the engine.

Newman returned to pit road where the team looked under the hood before sending the car behind the wall for more examination. After working under the hood, the team diagnosed the problem to be terminal.

Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch finished the race 21st.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 11, for the Bank of America 500. The race can be seen on ABC television at 7 p.m. ET and heard on the PRN radio network at 7:25 p.m. ET.

Ryan Newman, Driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge



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Race Winner: Tony Stewart (Subway Toyota Camry)