Ryan Newman - NASCAR Cup Series - Charlotte Preview

October 7, 2008

Ryan Newman
No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger
Bank of America 500
Notes & Quotes
For Immediate Release - October 7, 2008 

  • Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has seven poles, three top-five and five top-10 finishes at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS) in 15 NASCAR Cup Series starts. Newman's best finish at the 1.5-mile track was a second-place effort in the fall of 2003.
  • Newman ran as high as ninth at LMS in the Coca-Cola 600 this past May. However, the No. 12 Alltel Dodge got caught up in an accident with just over 100 laps to go in the race. Newman ended the night in 21st place. He also finished sixth in the All-Star race at LMS in May.
  •  Newman scored the first NASCAR Cup Series pole of his career at LMS in the spring of 2001. The pole came in just his third Cup start, tying Mark Martin's record for earliest career pole. To date, Newman has 43 career poles and is tied for 10th with Buck Baker on NASCAR's all-time pole list.
  • Newman's No. 12 Dodge has been a common site on the front row at LMS. In 15 starts, Newman has claimed the pole position seven times, including both 2007 points races. He is tied with Jeff Gordon for the most poles at LMS among active drivers. Newman also has started on the outside pole twice, and he has qualified outside of the top-four only three times in his career at Charlotte.
  • Newman has two NASCAR Nationwide starts at LMS, both coming in 2005. Led by current crew chief Roy McCauley, Newman finished third in the spring (May 28) and won in the fall (October 14). 
  • Two of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge pit crew members excelled on local high school football fields before making their way to pit road. Trent Cherry (rear tire carrier and pit coach) and Ben Brown (front tire changer) were rivals. Cherry was a standout quarterback at Providence Day High School and Brown was a star cornerback at Charlotte Latin High School.

THE RECENT TEST AT CHARLOTTE: "I feel like I have probably logged more laps at Charlotte this year than anywhere since we have had two tests and two races there already. We tested there a couple of weeks ago, and it was one of the best tests we've had. There were a few hours where I felt we learned a lot about the car and how to make it handle just right at Charlotte. If we can take what we learned and transfer it over to the race, I feel like we should have a really good night Saturday. We came close to winning at Charlotte last fall. We were leading in the closing laps and had a problem with the car at the end that sent us into the wall and cost us a win. I guess that race is the one that got away. I sure would like to have the chance to be in the lead at the end of the race this time."

QUALIFYING AT CHARLOTTE: "I don't know why I have done so well at Charlotte when it comes to qualifying, but it is a place where I have always enjoyed taking those two laps. Charlotte is just a fun place to drive, and it has gotten better since they have repaved it as far as the surface and the grip are concerned. We didn't have a great qualifying run in the spring, and I want to go back there this weekend and get back to where I am used to starting - the front." 

HIS FAVORITE MEMORIES: "With the season winding down and my time with Alltel and Penske Racing coming to an end, it's cool to look back on the past eight years just like the commercial that Alltel has been running does. One of my    favorite memories happened at Charlotte. It was my first win (2002) in the All-Star race. To beat everybody in their own backyard was incredible. It was a big win and a very special night for me."

CHARLOTTE: "I think Ryan and I both agree that we had a really good test at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago. We were able to spend the extra time we needed on the car's handling to get it where it needs to be when we unload on Thursday. Based on our notes and what we learned, I think we have a good package for this race. Our first goal is to qualify well on Thursday. That has always been a strong suit for Ryan at Charlotte, and we want to continue that trend."

PRS-580: The No. 12 Alltel Dodge for the Bank of America 500 is the same car Newman competed with at the famed   Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Newman started third and finished 13th in that race. The team tested the car at Charlotte just a couple of weeks ago.

PRS-558: The backup No. 12 Dodge is the same car that Newman drove to a fourth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year.

10/9: Ryan Newman will sign autographs beginning at 11 a.m. at the Dodge Display Unit at Concord Mills Mall in Concord, N.C. Dodge will hand out 100 tickets to fans prior to the autograph signing.

12/13:  The Ryan Newman Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament will be held at Queen's Landing in Mooresville, N.C. Fans are invited to join NASCAR stars, musical artists and professional fisherman for the charity event.  Registration in the tournament for a team of two competitors is $150 on or before November 13 or $200 after November 13. Fishermen may also enter a Big Fish Contest for $40 per team.  The maximum is 250 teams. For complete event details, tournament rules, to download a flier and registration form, or to register online, visit

2008 STATS:
STARTS:                       30
WINS:                           1
POLES:                         1
TOP FIVES:                   2
TOP 10s:                      8
CURRENT POINTS:       15th

STARTS:                       254
WINS:                           13
POLES:                         43
TOP FIVES:          &nb