Ryan Newman - NASCAR Cup Series Preview - Martinsville

October 14, 2008

Ryan Newman
No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger
Tums QuikPak 500
Notes & Quotes
For Immediate Release - October 14, 2008

  •  Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has two poles at Martinsville Speedway. Newman also has five top-five and six top-10 finishes at the .526-mile oval in 13 NASCAR Cup starts. Newman's best finish at Martinsville was a second-place effort last fall.
  • Ten of Newman's 13 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway have come from 10th place or better. His best starting position was the pole position in the fall races of 2002 and 2004. Newman has started on the outside pole once, from third place twice and from fourth place three times. His average starting spot at the paperclip shaped oval is 6.8.
  • Last fall at Martinsville Speedway, Newman claimed a runner-up finish. But it's a finish that doesn't necessarily sit well with the driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge. It's one race that Newman says he wishes he had back and it's also one that he hopes to improve on this weekend. With less than 10 laps left in the race, Newman had patiently made his way into the second spot and was quickly chasing down leader Jimmie Johnson. However, just as Newman caught up with Johnson on the white flag lap, the caution waved, handing Johnson the win.
  • For Newman's jack man Bryan White, Martinsville Speedway could be considered a home track. After all, the track is close to where White honed his competitive spirit. White attended college and played football at the University of Virginia, which is about 150 miles away in Charlottesville, Va. White is one of four former college athletes on the No. 12 Alltel Dodge pit crew. Before coming to Martinsville Speedway this weekend, White will travel to his alma mater to cheer on his Virginia football team as they take on the University of North Carolina.

LAST FALL'S RACE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: "There is always going to be a ‘what if' in every race. In last fall's race, I think that if I could have run that last lap, I might have won the race. I still wish we had that last lap back. I got inside of (Jimmie Johnson) and then the white and yellow came out. I know I would have a shot. I had my nose at his left rear tire at the start-finish line getting the white flag. But it just never happened. There was definitely disappointment on my part. To be so close and then not have a chance to race that last lap is tough."

RACING AT MARTINSVILLE: "A lot of people like to compare racing at Martinsville to the tracks that I grew up racing on, and I definitely see similarities. It's a great short track that I have really enjoyed racing on in my career. Like any short track, the key to Martinsville is patience. You have to be patient maneuvering the car around the track and through the tight corners.  At Martinsville, the brake pedal is just as important as the gas pedal. And most importantly, you do not want to go a lap down. We struggled with the handling of our car at Martinsville in the spring, and we really want to go back there with a better package."

QUALIFYING AT MARTINSVILLE: "Traditionally, we have qualified well at Martinsville, which is important. You want to qualify in the top 10 or top 15. This is a short track and it is easy to get down a lap if you are in the back, which is something that you don't want. But it is also important to qualify well because of the pit selection for the race. That can be critical since the stalls are so small." 

RACING AT MARTINSVILLE: "Our initial goal this week is to qualify better for track position at the start of the race. A premium qualifying spot allows better pit selection and is a great confidence builder for the team. The braking at Martinsville is just as important as going fast, so having a car that handles well in the corners is key. We struggled with handling in the first race, so we have been working on our overall package. It is crucial to be able to roll through the center with speed. If you're car can't turn in the center, you will burn your brakes up and you're done."

PRS-561: The No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger at that Newman will pilot at Martinsville has a pair of sixth-place finishes. The car was first raced at Richmond in May where Newman started 10th and finished sixth. The car was also the primary at Bristol in August where Newman started 11th and finished sixth.

PRS-555: The backup No. 12 Alltel Dodge has served as the primary car at Charlotte in May (finished 21st), the August Pocono race (finished 14th) and last month's Richmond race (finished 33rd).

10/17Ryan Newman will be a guest on SPEED's Trackside Live on Friday night at Martinsville Speedway. The show begins at 6 p.m. ET at the SPEED stage.

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:                       31
WINS:                           1
POLES:                         1
TOP FIVES:                   2
TOP 10s:                      8
CURRENT POINTS:       15th

STARTS:                       255
WINS:                           13
POLES:                         43
TOP FIVES:                   63
TOP 10s: