Ryan Newman - NSCS Phoenix Preview

November 4, 2008

Ryan Newman
No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger
Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Notes & Quotes
For Immediate Release - November 4, 2008 

  • Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, has four poles at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Newman also has three top-five and three top-10 finishes in 12 starts at the one-mile oval. His best finish was a second-place effort in November 2004.
  • Newman scored his only pole of the 2008 season so far and his 43rd NASCAR Cup Series pole at PIR in April.
  • Newman, who scored three consecutive poles (2002, 2003, 2004) at PIR, holds the Cup qualifying record at the Arizona race track,  turning a fast lap of 135.584 mph (26.499 seconds) in 2004. He has the most poles of any driver at the one-mile oval with four.
  • In the spring race at PIR, Newman started on the pole position and looked to have a car that would contend for victory. Newman led 37 laps and fell out of the top 10 for only a handful of laps. However, an engine failure at lap 134 took Newman out of the race and relegated him to a 43rd-place finish.
  • Newman made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the No. 02 Alltel Penske Racing car at PIR in November 2000. Newman's qualifying prowess was quickly noticed as he secured a 10th place starting position in that very first event. Newman finished that race in 41st place.
  • Last week, it was announced that Newman was one of three finalists for the second annual NASCAR Home Depot Humanitarian Award, which will be awarded on Dec. 4th at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Award Luncheon in New York City. The award is open to any member of the NASCAR community who has demonstrated a dedication to serving others and improving communities through significant service efforts. Newman was recognized for his conservation efforts and work with animal shelters and clinics through his Ryan Newman Foundation.

THE SPRING RACE AT PIR: "The spring race at Phoenix was really a bummer for the No. 12 team. We had a car that I believe was a top-10 car at worst. If we wouldn't have had the engine issues, I honestly believe that we would have had a car that could have contended for a top-five or even the win. We were that good there. I hope that we can go back this weekend, win another pole for the Alltel Dodge and hopefully have just a strong of car as we did in the spring."

RACING AT PIR:  "I like Phoenix, and I've come close to winning there a couple of times, but I haven't been able to get that first victory at the track. We had a really good run at Phoenix last fall when we finished fifth, and we were able to lead some 37 laps there in the spring before we had our issues. We have some really good notes from last year's race and the spring race, so hopefully we can go back there this weekend and do what we need to do to get the pole and the win."

COMING TO THE END OF AN ERA: "It's hard to believe that I have only two races remaining with Penske Racing. This weekend brings back a lot of memories for me because we are at Phoenix, which is where I started my first Cup race for Penske. It's not easy leaving a team that I have been with for so long. I am looking forward to what lies ahead for me, but I have unfinished business with the 12 team, with Alltel and with Penske Racing. Putting together a good run at Phoenix this weekend would be like coming full circle since this is where I got my fist Cup start. I would just like to finish my career at Penske Racing on a high note."

RACING AT PIR: "We want to pick up where we left off at Phoenix in the spring this weekend.  Ryan has a solid record of qualifying well at Phoenix, and we were able to win the pole there in the spring. We would like to duplicate that effort this weekend and pick up where we left off in the race. We led laps and were in the top 10 before we had our problems. Ryan has a long history at Phoenix - he's raced there in Silver Crown cars, midgets, and he made his first NASCAR Cup start at the track, too. I know that he would like to include a Cup win in that history, and I think that is something we can accomplish this weekend."

PRS-525: The No. 12 Alltel Dodge that Newman will pilot at Phoenix was the primary at California Speedway in February (finished 10th) and at New Hampshire in September (finished  36th). Newman was also behind the wheel of the car at Phoenix International Raceway last November (finished fifth).

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).

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 fishermen for the charity event. Registration in the tournament for a team of two competitors is $150 on or before Nov. 13 or $200 after Nov. 13. Fishermen may also enter a Big Fish Contest for $40 per team. The maximum is 250 teams. For complete event details, tournament rules, or to register, visit

2008 STATS:
STARTS:                       34
WINS:                           1
POLES:                        1
TOP FIVES:                  2
TOP 10s:                      8
CURRENT POINTS:       16th

STARTS:                       258
WINS:                           13
POLES:                        43
TOP FIVES:                  63
TOP 10s: