I am moving this blog.....PLEASE FOLLOW.
I decided to go and my own domain. It is http://ryannewmaninfo.info.
Actually I have had it for a while, but this past week I actually started looking into moving the blog there.
I am running the "new" one with WORDPRESS.
My RSS feed is going to remain the same - through feedburner. There is also going to be one for comments.
Please race over to http://ryannewmaninfo.info and join me there.
Blogroll - Think I got everyone over there, if not let me know and I will add you on!!
I am not completly done over there, but that is where I am doing business as of this post!!!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I am moving this blog.....PLEASE FOLLOW.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
While this is speculation, it could evolve into reality. The 2008 Sprint Cup season could be a pivotal one for Ryan Newman.
His contract with Penske Racing ends at the conclusion of the coming season, and, if things don't improve competitively, he might be tempted to move on.
Newman has been with Penske full time since 2002, and he was a winner three years. From 2002-2005, Newman won 12 races and accumulated 34 poles. He was firmly entrenched in NASCAR's upper echelon.
Funny how things can change.
Newman hasn't won a race in two years. In fact, he's had only nine finishes among the top five. He's not used to that sort of thing.
In 2006, he had only two top-five finishes and seven among the top 10. Things were better this year, with seven top-five finishes and 15 among the top 10.
Newman didn't make the Chase this season, but as it wound to a close, he had a string of good performances that helped elevate him to 13th in the final point standings.
Newman had four top-five finishes in the last seven races of the Chase, including three in the last five. He should have won the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where he easily sped into the lead on a late restart – and was going away - but crashed due to a tire problem. He wound up 28th.
There have been some changes at Penske, notably among crew chiefs, intended to provide improvement. And while Newman did have it bit better this season than last, he still hasn't returned to winning form.
While it is simply conjecture, it's not hard to think Newman might listen to proposals from other teams should he go winless again in 2008. I think he'd be an attractive commodity.
But that might not mean anything if Newman becomes the old Newman in the new year.
Two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and radio sidekick Matt Yocum decided earlier this year that the stock car sport needed some awards to rival Hollywood's Oscars and Emmies.
Thus were the Stewie Awards born.
Stewart and Yocum, who co-host a weekly show on Sirius Satellite Radio, asked listeners to vote online in 12 categories. They handed out the inaugural Stewies this week in New York as part of NASCAR's Champion's Week celebration.
Stewie Lifetime Achievement Award
- Bill France, Jr., former Chairman and CEO of NASCAR
- Benny Parsons, Hall of Fame driver/broadcaster
Golden Stewie Award - Honoring a legendary driver from the Golden Era of racing (1960-85)
Best Duet - For outstanding teamwork by a driver and crew chief
- Clint Bowyer & Gil Martin: Martin keeps Bowyer calm and team performs only one adjustment all day to get Bowyer's first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win in Sylvania 300 (Sept. 16)
Best Original Drama - For year's most exciting race moment
- Kevin Harvick edges Mark Martin to win his first Daytona 500 (Feb. 18) –
New Kid on the Track Award - For year's most outstanding performance by a rookie
- Juan Pablo Montoya: Wins first NEXTEL Cup race in Toyota Save Mart 350 (June 24)
Best Stunt Sequence (Hal Needham Award) - For year's most spectacular crash
- Clint Bowyer: Crosses finish line at Daytona 500 on his roof (Feb. 18) –
Best Original Comedy - For year's most entertaining on track "incident" or occurrence
- Robby Gordon performs "victory celebration" burnout despite losing Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villaneuve in Canada (Aug. 4)
Best Vocal Performance - For year's most memorable quote or sound bite
- Actor Kevin James: Provides memorable "Start Your Engines" command before Pepsi 400 (July 7) –
Best Engineering and Special Effects (Smokey Yunick Award) - For year's most creative - and ultimately illegal - modifications to a race car
- Crew Chief David Hyder & MWR VP of Competition Bobby Kennedy: Illegal fuel in #55 car at Daytona 500 (Feb. 18)
Dazed and Confused Award - For year's the most baffling move
- Teresa Earnhardt and DEI allow Dale Earnhardt Jr. to leave for Hendrick Motorsports –
'I Got Dumped' Award - For year's most memorable on-track bumping
- Kyle Busch: Wrecked by brother Kurt in NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge (May 19) –
Best Driver2Crew Chatter Exchange - For year's most memorable driver-to-pit crew communication
- Denny Hamlin/#11 team: Discuss "plan of attack" against Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #8 car during Subway 500 (Oct. 21)
Friday, November 30, 2007
Sponsored by Alltel Wireless and Outback Steakhouse
WHERE: Mooresville, North Carolina
DETAILS: For more information or to register online, visit Ryan Newman Foundation Events Web Page.
AUCTION ITEMS: Autographed Tony Stewart Fire Suit, Autographed Ryan Newman Fire Suit, Autographed Kyle Petty Fire Suit, Autographed Ryan Newman #12 Sheet Meatl, Autographed Jimmie Johnson Championship Champagne, Autographed Martin Truex, Jr. memorabilia, Autographed Regan Smith Memorabilia, Autographed John Andretti Memorabilia, Autographed Ryan Newman Simpson Driving Gloves, Autographed Ryan Newman Simpson Driving Shoes, Autographed Ryan Newman Helmet Sheild, Autographed Ryan Newman #12 Alltel, Mobil 1, and Kodak 1:24 Limited Edition Die-Cast Cars and Ball Caps, Autographed Poster and CD, Autographed Orange County Choppers Memorabilia, Autographed Sports Memorabilia, and much, much more!!!
From - The Ryan Newman Foundation
Thursday, November 29, 2007
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 28, 2007) Saying goodbye to one of its longtime leaders and fortifying itself for the future, Penske Racing announced several key organizational changes for the 2008 NASCAR season on Wednesday.
Don Miller, who has served as President of Penske Racing South Inc. since its inception in 1990, is retiring from his position after nearly two successful decades at the highest levels of stock car racing. Miller, 68, has presided over 75 victories, 95 pole positions and more than $90 million in winnings for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series as well as NASCAR Busch and ARCA series events.
Penske Racing also announced Wednesday that Mike Nelson, who just completed his first season as crew chief of the No.12 Alltel Dodge driven by Ryan Newman, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations. In his new role, Nelson will oversee Penskes entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series, reporting to Tim Cindric, President of Penske Performance Inc.
In addition, Roy McCauley, an experienced crew chief and engineer for Penske Racing since 2002, has been named crew chief for the No. 12 Alltel team. Reuniting a winning combination, McCauley will once again be paired with Newman. The duo produced wins in six of the nine Busch Series races they competed in during the 2005 season, with McCauley serving as crew chief.
On behalf of our 39,000 employees, I want to thank Don Miller for all hes done for Penske Racing over the years, Roger Penske said. Hes been a partner and great friend and he will definitely be missed. Were looking forward to the 2008 season and were excited about the new opportunities for both Mike and Roy as they focus on the challenges ahead.
A native of Chicago who began his motorsports career as a drag racer in the 1950s, Miller has done more than just guide one of the winningest programs in racing over the last 17 years. Hes also a top designer who has been at the forefront in developing safety measures in NASCAR.
Its been a pleasure and an honor to help lead Penske Racing, Miller said. Under Rogers direction, the organization has seen tremendous growth and Im proud of all that we accomplished.
After joining Penske Racing as a data acquisition engineer in 1998, Nelson was on hand for Newman's first test with the team in April 2000, eventually becoming the first race engineer for the Alltel squad. The 34-year-old former motorcycle and motocross racer was named crew chief for the No. 12 car in December 2006.
McCauley, 37, became chief engineer for Penske Racings NASCAR operation in December 2002. After heading up the organizations driver development team, he teamed with Newman for a successful Busch Series run in 05. McCauley became crew chief for the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch for the 2006 season, capturing a win at Bristol. McCauley began 07 in the same role before Pat Tryson took control of the team at mid-season after McCauley stepped aside due to his wifes illness.
Both Mike and Roy have worked hard to advance in the Penske Racing organization and they are a testament to our process of promoting from within, Cindric commented. We are looking to build on the strong performances we achieved in the second half of 2007 and we feel that both Mike and Roy are in the right positions to help us get to where we want to be.
Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have 295 major race wins and 21 National Championships. The team will field three entries in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by 2004 NASCAR Cup Champion, Kurt Busch; the No. 12 Alltel Dodge with Ryan Newman at the wheel; and the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge with former Indianapolis 500 and three-time IndyCar Series Champion, Sam Hornish, Jr., making his full-season stock car racing debut.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Dodge has confirmed that it will race the Charger in the Sprint Cup Series in 2008 and beyond, continuing to add to its rich NASCAR tradition. The Avenger had been used as the make's Car of Tomorrow model in 2007.
Dodge has elected to continue the winning tradition that legends David Pearson, Bobby Isaac and Richard Petty established in the 1970s by designating the Charger as the nameplate Dodge teams will use in the Sprint Cup Series next year.
"Racing is the core of Dodge's DNA," said Michael Accavitti, the director of Dodge Brand and SRT Global Marketing. "Dodge has a racing heritage that spans many different nameplates and models, and the Charger is the cornerstone of that heritage.
"When NASCAR originally announced the phase-in plan for the Car of Tomorrow, it made sense for Dodge to race the Charger and Avenger. When the decision was made to race only one car next year, we talked with our partners, the more than 2,500 Dodge Dealers across the country, and they expressed overwhelming support for Dodge to continue its motorsports heritage with the Charger nameplate.
"Since 2001 when Dodge returned to NASCAR," he added, "the goal has been to win races and ultimately the championship. Those goals have been accomplished with the Charger previously and we are committed to make it happen again."
The 2008 Dodge Charger lineup will feature five teams with 12 drivers that are a mixture of seasoned veterans, experienced young talent and champions from other racing series that are newcomers to NASCAR.
Due to the large amount of interest in our 2nd Annual Charity Fishing Tourney, we have extended the online registration until midnight on Friday, November 30th! Registration has been expanded to 250 teams this year. Guarantee your spot today by registering online. To register online with a credit card, click here.
Ryan Newman, driver of Penske Racing's #12 Alltel Dodge, is inviting NASCAR fans and fisherman to join him and fellow NASCAR drivers Martin Truex, Jr. and Regan Smith, professional bass angler Kevin Van Dam, and Two Foot Fred from the Musik Mafia at the second annual Ryan Newman Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament sponsored by Ranger Boats on Saturday, December 8, 2007at Queen's Landing on Lake Norman in Mooresville , NC .
Ryan Newman Foundation Charity Bass Tournament Sponsored by Ranger Boats
To register by mail with a check, visit Ryan Newman Foundation Events Web Page to download the registration form.
- Grand Prize is a 198VX Ranger Boat with a 200 HP Evinrude engine, Minn-Kota Maxxum 80 trolling motor, Humminbird 767 depth finder and single axle trailer (valued at $38,000)! Other prizes include cash, trolling motors, GPS systems, depth finders, rods/reels, Alltel Wireless phones, Solar Batsunglasses, digital cameras & more!
- Raffle Prizes includes items from Evinrude, Ranger Boats, FLW Outdoors, Mobil 1, Alltel, Dick's Sporting Goods, NASCAR Memorabilia, Bill Dance Memorabilia, #12 Ryan Newman tee-shirts, die-cast cars, and more! Buy your raffle tickets today online with a credit card or bring cash to the tournament team-check in.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Roy McCauley is making a comeback as a crew chief, heading up Sam Hornish Jr.'s effort in the No. 06 Penske Truck Rental Dodge.
McCauley, who was previously the Miller Lite team¿s crew chief, became chief engineer of Penske Racing's NASCAR operation in December 2002. He also served as the crew chief for the organization's driver development team. In 2004, he oversaw the team that fielded a NEXTEL Cup car in four races one for Chad Blount and three for Travis Kvapil. In 2005, McCauley directed the Busch Series team that won six of the nine races in which it competed with driver Ryan Newman. He also was the crew chief for Kvapil's ARCA victory at Pocono.
McCauley says it was competition that attracted him to racing.
We could race shopping carts and I would still be a part of it, says McCauley, who was born March 10, 1970.
Even though McCauley didn't work in racing until he was an adult, his family was involved in the sport from the time he was an infant. McCauley¿s father, Kirk, raced in Late Model Sportsman and Late Model Stock events at short tracks in Maryland and Virginia in the late 1960s and early 70s. He then leased and operated the speedway in Beltsville, Md., from the mid to late 1970s.
McCauley graduated from the University of Maryland in 1992 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He entered racing in 1993 in the open-wheel ranks as a design engineer with Pat Patrick Racing. McCauley remained with the Indianapolis-based team for four years before moving to PacWest in 1998.
McCauley left PacWest and moved to PPI Motorsports as the race engineer in 2000 when PPI owner Cal Wells began fielding a team in NASCAR's Cup division.
Two years later McCauley joined Penske Racing's NASCAR operation as its head engineer. While serving in that capacity, McCauley oversaw a 17-person department that included 11 engineers, and was responsible for all of the operation's design work, aerodynamic and chassis development, component design, and simulation development.
McCauley and wife Amy reside in Sherrills Ford, N.C.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Thank you to everyone for the comments and congradulations -- we are VERY happy.
Ok, life is settling down now. I do have some stories about the last weekends race posted. They are posted late, but are mainly for my records.
Life is going good with the new addition to the family. Faith is VERY healthy and mom has recovered amazingly well.
And big brother is awesome. He is really great with his sissy. He has helped a lot to make the addition to the family a very smooth transition. Being almost 20 months old, and previously the only child, we expected some jelously and stuff. But there is none and he cares and worries about sissy alot.
So, now we can get back to normal. I will be working on the page and some stories over the next week.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2007) ¿ Kurt Busch's second-place finish in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway allowed the Las Vegas native to gain three positions in the standings to place seventh, his best performance in the points since he won the series title in 2004.
Ryan Newman finished 18th in the season finale on the 1.5-mile track to come home 13th in the standings, the highest finishing non-Chase competitor, while Sam Hornish Jr. took 37th in his second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event.
Busch's Miller Lite Dodge was the only Dodge in this year's title Chase and the 29-year-old driver said he was pleased with his car's performance Sunday evening.
"We feel like we went out with a bang with this good car," said Busch, who led twice for 17 laps in the 267-lap event. "We came up just a bit shy, but, overall, just a great season for us to win a couple races and be in contention at a lot of race tracks. We finished seventh overall. That¿s a nice feather in the cap. This team deserves it. We worked really hard and hopefully, we will carry this right on into Daytona.
¿We felt like this was a successful season for us at Penske Racing in the Miller Lite Dodge. We definitely had what we need at some of the races, then, at some of the race tracks where we led laps we just didn¿t seal the deal to finish off the race. Tonight, it was a great feather in the cap for our team. The great teamwork that it took to put together a very successful summer stretch to get into the Chase was fantastic. Everybody at Miller is ecstatic.
"We put together a good effort during the Chase. We could be stronger. We need to work on our COT program if we want to compete for next year¿s championship. That¿s the bottom line. We got a little taste of it this year, and the teams that ran well with the COT finished up front in the points. Next season that is what Penske Racing is all about.¿
Busch's Miller Lite Dodge was strong from the race's beginning, but he lost a lap at the 100-lap mark when he had to pit with a loose left-rear wheel. The unscheduled green-flag stop dropped Busch outside the top 30.
Busch regained his lost lap when the next round of green-flag stops began. However, only a handful of laps separated Busch from running third and on the lead lap to having to pit and going down a lap to the front-runners. It was then that Newman spun, bringing out the fourth caution flag and insuring Busch his position on the lead lap.
During Busch's final stop, his Miller Lite Dodge received four fresh tires. His final opportunity to catch and pass leader Matt Kenseth occurred when the last yellow flag appeared on lap 254. When the race restarted on lap 257, Busch was third. He immediately passed Martin Truex Jr. for second and set sail for Kenseth. Busch, however, could never catch Kenseth and he had to settle for second.
"I felt like we had a legitimate shot at chasing Matt down," Busch said when asked if he thought he had a chance to catch Kenseth on the final restart. "I had to pass the one car [Martin Truex Jr.] first of all. Once we cleared him it just seemed like Matt and I had a beam mounted with his rear bumper and my front bumper. I couldn¿t break that 10-car length advantage that he had. Not due to aero, just due to the fact that he was fast. The way that the race went all day he was the car to beat. We were a challenger and we came up a bit short. I thought we were going to give it our all and we came up in second place. The bump up in points was the bigger objective today and we were able to do that.¿
Newman led three times for seven laps before a loose race car resulted in his second-turn spin on lap 149. Newman's Alltel Dodge was too tight in the race's first 100 laps, so when he pitted on lap 132, crew chief Mike Nelson ordered a track bar adjustment, along with four fresh tires and fuel.
The Alltel Dodge was now too loose and Newman brought out the fourth caution flag when he lost control of his car and spun into the second turn's grass. The car's valance and right-rear quarter panel were damaged in the incident. Even though Newman didn't lose a lap while repairs were made to his car, he dropped to 19th and was never able to recover.
The highest Newman would climb after the accident was 15th, but his car was still too loose and he fell to 18th in a few short laps.
Hornish, who qualified 29th, had to start in the rear of the field due to an engine change in his Mobil 1 Dodge after Saturday's final practice. He had issues with his car throughout the race, but he was still grateful for the experience he received in preparation for the 2008 season.
¿Well, I have twice as much Cup experience as I had last week. Every time I go out that is that much more," said Hornish, who brought out the sixth of seven caution flags when he scraped the third-turn wall on lap 193. "I¿m really happy that the team gave me the opportunity to do this, this year and get started. It¿s going to be a long, uphill process, but we¿ve got a goal in mind and hopefully, we get there.
¿I¿m real excited. I¿m excited to see what happens; how we can learn throughout the year and how we progress.¿
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, qualified second Friday for the season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.
Newman, who was 12th among the 49 drivers attempting to make this year's final race, recorded a lap of 30.583 seconds – 176.569 mph – just 0.038 of a second behind pole sitter Jimmie Johnson's time of 30.545 seconds.
"Honestly, I didn't think it [my lap] was near as good as it was speed-wise," Newman said during his post-qualifying press conference. "When they said it was a 58 (seconds) I was like, 'Man that is really good.' Knowing that the track was a little bit hotter, we tuned on the car and made it over a 10th quicker, so I really didn't expect Jimmie (Johnson) to come and bust out that lap.
"I really thought that after practice Kasey (Kahne) was going to be the guy to beat and he was…he just wasn't the only guy to beat. It was a good, smooth lap. I just didn't feel like I slipped the car enough to make it go any faster. In saying that, if I did, it might have gone slower."
Newman's front-row start gives him four top-five starts at the 1.5-mile track and ties his career-best start. He started second in 2005 and finished seventh. Newman now has a 7.0 starting average at the South Florida track.
Coverage of Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be televised live by ABC and broadcast by MRN Radio beginning at 3 p.m. EST.
Line-up for the Ford 400:
1. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
2. Ryan Newman, No. 12 Alltel Dodge
3. Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Dodge Dealers Lifetime Powertrain Warranty/UAW Dodge
4. Matt Kenseth, No. 17 DeWalt NANO Technology Ford
5. Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
29. Sam Hornish Jr., No. 06 Mobil 1 Dodge
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2007) ¿ Ryan Newman snatched a front row starting position in qualifying Friday for this weekend's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, while Kurt Busch collected a top five and Sam Hornish Jr. nailed down a starting spot in a NASCAR Cup race for the second straight week.
Newman's 30.583-second lap ¿ 176.569 mph ¿ in his Alltel Dodge Charger initially provided the Indiana native with the provisional pole. However, he eventually had to settle for second due to points leader Jimmie Johnson's lap that was only 0.038 second quicker than Newman.
"I really didn't expect Jimmie (Johnson) to come and bust out that lap. I really thought that after practice Kasey (Kahne) was going to be the guy to beat ¿ he just wasn¿t the only guy to beat," said Newman, who was the top qualifying Dodge on the 1.5-mile track.
Newman, who now possesses four top-five starts at Homestead, said he didn't think his qualifying lap was as good as it was speed-wise.
"When they said it was a 58 (seconds) I was like, 'Man, that is really good,'" continued Newman, who tied his best qualifying effort. "Knowing that the track was a little bit hotter, we tuned on the car and made it over a 10th quicker."
Busch and his Miller Lite team experienced quite an interesting day when compared to that of his teammates. First, there was an encounter with the wall. Next, the Miller Lite Dodge had a leaking radiator.
Friday's morning practice was only five laps old when the No. 2 Dodge Charger broke loose and smacked the wall between turns 3 and 4. The damage sustained to the car's right side forced Busch into the garage for extensive repairs.
The Pat Tryson-led team repaired the damage in time to have Busch back on the track with 25 minutes remaining in the 90-minute session. Beating the odds, Busch clocked in with the seventh-fastest practice lap.
But the team's troubles weren't over. After a fine stream of fluid was detected under the front of the Miller Lite Dodge, it was determined that the car had a leaking radiator. Quick work by the team between practice and qualifying had the blue deuce late through the tech line, yet on schedule to take to the track 19th in the qualifying order, as mandated by the morning's draw.
"It's been quite an interesting day here, to say the least,¿ said Busch, who recorded a 30.692-second, 175.942-mph lap for the fifth starting position. "Today certainly illustrates what a great team that our Pat Tryson-led Miller Lite Dodge crew is. We were definitely behind the eight ball, but nobody panicked. We picked up almost a 10th and a half (of a second) between practice and qualifying and we can¿t ask for much more than that. To have a shot at Ryan (Newman) on a Friday qualifying day -- that means you did something good.
"I am confident that we¿ll have a car capable of winning the race here on Sunday. It¿ll certainly be a special win if we can pull it off. Tomorrow¿s two practice sessions may just be the two most important practices of the entire year.¿
Hornish's 31.021-second, 174.076-mph lap provided the Mobil 1 Dodge Charger with the 29th starting position.
"For the most part, it was pretty good," Hornish said about his qualifying lap that made him the sixth fastest among the 14 drivers that had to make the grid on speed. "We were a little bit too tight with the car. That hurt us a little bit, but I think our times are pretty respectable."
Hornish made his Cup debut last weekend in the Car of Tomorrow ¿ Dodge Avenger ¿ but qualified Friday in the Dodge Charger. The Ohio native admits that unlike most NASCAR drivers, he's glad the COT will be used in every race next year.
"I¿m so used to a car that doesn¿t move around this much [as the Dodge Charger]," Hornish said. "The Car of Tomorrow is a jump in that direction. It¿s not anywhere near it, but it¿s more in that range. I actually like the Car of Tomorrow a lot better because it doesn¿t move around as much (as the Charger)."
Coverage of Sunday's Ford 400 begins at 3 p.m. on ABC and MRN Radio.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Faith Ann Pratt (my daughter) was born yesterday (Nov 16th, 2007) at 10:21 am. 6 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches long.
Jeni woke me up at 4 am and told me it was time to go. Waking me up can be a real treat so after asking her a bunch of "I am still sleeping questions" I finally came to and jumped out of bed. We were up, coffee brewed, T.J. (our 19 month old) dressed and at the hospital by 4:45 am.
We are so happy and Mama and Faith are 100% healthy. Probably going home today.
So my race coverage this week will also probably be next to nothing.
She is a good NASCAR fan comiing into the world when she did, I will be able to see Sundays race, the last race of 2007.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The "Rocket Man" has been dominant of late, racing to three top-five finishes in his past four starts and four in his past six rides. Of course, Newman's also seen four of his past eight starts finish early because of accidents and engine issues. Therefore, he's a high-risk, high-reward proposition for this weekend's run at Homestead-Miami. He's raced to two top-10 finishes in five career starts with three top-five qualifying efforts. However, he's also had two efforts end early because of accidents.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
-- Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, will make his sixth Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It will be his 224th career start in the Cup Series.
-- Newman has an average start of 8.0 and an average finish of 20.6 at the 1.5-mile track. All of his starts have been 16th or higher, including three from the top-five.
-- Newman has two top-10 finishes at Homestead. His other finishes have been 23rd, 30th and 37th.
-- Newman has led 133 laps in three races. He has completed 1,187 laps of a possible 1,340 since he made his debut in 2002 at the south Florida track. Newman has a completion rate of 88.6 percent.
-- Crew chief Mike Nelson and the Alltel team are taking chassis PRS-110 to Homestead as its primary car. This was the car Newman raced at Texas where he qualified 11th and finished fifth. The backup car is chassis PRS-108. This car was last raced in Atlanta at the end of October. It qualified ninth, but finished 37th after developing engine problems.
Newman On Homestead: ¿This is our last chance to get a win before the season is over and I think we have a good chance of getting it done. Our team has been solid the last couple of weeks and even though we had some problems in Atlanta, we¿ve still been running really well.¿
¿I¿m really proud of our team and the way they¿ve been able to battle back throughout the season. It seems like every time we have a bad weekend, we come back to the track and have a few good finishes in a row. That shows how dedicated these guys are. They¿re not going to let one bad week keep them from working hard the next week and getting good finishes in the Alltel Dodge.¿
Ryan Newman will make his sixth Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It will be his 224th career start in the Cup Series.
"This is our last chance to get a win before the season is over and I think we have a good chance of getting it done. Our team has been solid the last couple of weeks and even though we had some problems in Atlanta, we've still been running really well," Newman said.
Newman has an average start of 8.0 and an average finish of 20.6 at the 1.5-mile track. All of his starts have been 16th or higher, including three from the top-five.
Newman has two top-10 finishes at Homestead. His other finishes have been 23rd, 30th and 37th.
Newman has led 133 laps in three races. He has completed 1,187 laps of a possible 1,340 since he made his debut in 2002 at the south Florida track. Newman has a completion rate of 88.6 percent.
Crew chief Mike Nelson and the Alltel team are taking chassis PRS-110 to Homestead as its primary car. This was the car Newman raced at Texas where he qualified 11th and finished fifth. The back-up car is chassis PRS-108. This car was last raced in Atlanta at the end of October. It qualified ninth, but finished 37th after developing engine problems.
"I'm really proud of our team and the way they've been able to battle back throughout the season. It seems like every time we have a bad weekend, we come back to the track and have a few good finishes in a row," Newman said. "That shows how dedicated these guys are. They're not going to let one bad week keep them from working hard the next week and getting good finishes in the Alltel Dodge."
NASCAR ends its season Sunday with ratings down again this year. And while it has fan interest beyond its Southern base, it’s still an also-ran in big cities outside the South. This season’s NASCAR Nextel Cup races — airing on Fox, TNT, ESPN and ABC — are averaging 4.2% of U.S. TV households — down 9% from last year’s average and off 21% from 2005. ABC’s Checker Auto Parts 500 on Sunday — when Jimmie Johnson virtually nailed down the season points title — showed interest still is largely regional.
The race drew 10.5% of households in Greenville, S.C., 9.1% in Knoxville, Tenn. and 7.8% in Birmingham, Ala. But it drew just 1.3% in New York, 1.9% in Los Angeles and 2.4% in Chicago. Dick Glover, NASCAR vice president/broadcasting, notes the average NASCAR race ratings in New York (1.9%), Los Angeles (2.1%) and Chicago (2.9%) — which together constitute about 15% of TV households in the USA — are up slightly or even with last year.
AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 11, 2007) ¿ Penske Racing led the Dodge contingent in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway with Ryan Newman finishing fifth and Kurt Busch placing 12th. Sam Hornish Jr. took 30th in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut.
Newman's second straight top-five finish and his seventh this season moved him up one position in the point standings to 13th with one race remaining in the season. He is now 58 points ahead of the 14th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.
¿The Alltel Dodge was pretty good," said Newman, who led once for four laps after starting 13th in the 312-lap race on the 1-mile track. "We knew we were good enough to get track position with the disadvantage; with two tires or with fuel only, and that was OK. I wasn¿t mad about that, but I wish we just had that extra little speed so we could get on everyone else¿s strategy. You know, being able to take two tires when everybody takes two, or take four when they take four. We¿re getting closer to that. It¿s just a matter of time."
Newman consistently ran in the top 10 throughout the race after gaining track position with a two-tire stop during the first of 10 caution flags. That strategy enabled Newman to gain 11 positions, placing him in second when the race restarted on lap 29.
The Alltel crew gave Newman the lead on lap 236 with a quick pit stop during the eighth caution period. However, when the race restarted, Newman couldn't hold off the charging Matt Kenseth, who was on fresh tires. Newman, however, never dropped lower than sixth in the final 70 laps.
¿To have a top-five finish is great," Newman said. "To build on another top-five finish, that¿s two in a row, that¿s really great. I don¿t know if we¿ve done that all year.¿
Meanwhile, Busch found himself battling a "wicked handling" Miller Lite Dodge Avenger throughout the race. His 12th-place finish also dropped him a position in the standings, leaving him 10th with one race remaining. However, he is only 47 points behind the seventh-place Kevin Harvick.
¿It was pretty wicked handling for him much of the day,¿ crew chief Pat Tryson said about the car that Busch qualified ninth. ¿We kept making some pretty big adjustments throughout the race. It wasn¿t the super day we were looking for out here, but it was a good learning experience. It¿s evident that we have a little catching up to do with our Miller Lite Dodge Avenger and we¿re already focusing on doing all we can during the off-season to be really prepared with this car when the 2008 season kicks off next February in Daytona."
Despite the handling problems, Busch still felt he had a "good run" in his Miller Lite Dodge.
"It was just a little too tight in one spot and a little too loose in another spot," Busch added. "So, all-in-all, we'll chalk it up as a year of experience with the COTs. We have some more work to do."
Hornish's goals were to not cause problems for his teammates and the top two in the point standings, complete as many laps as possible, and finish in the top 30. The 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner achieved all of his objectives.
¿I still have a lot to learn, but I¿m enjoying the challenge. We¿ll keep working our way at it and continue to get better. I¿ll go into Miami with one race under my belt ¿ a little bit less of a rookie, I guess,¿ said Hornish, who will attempt another double-duty weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend.
¿I¿m a bit rusty as far as racing goes lately. It¿s been about two months since I¿ve run this long of a race and that was probably the longest I¿ve run in the COT car. But I was pretty happy with the car, especially at the end. We started out tight and got a pretty long run there at the beginning where we lost a lap, but we eventually got to where the car needed to be.¿
Although Hornish was two laps down at the event's conclusion, 310 laps allowed him to begin to define the physical differences and challenges between the Indy Car and COT car.
¿If you¿re running one or two laps, the Indy Car is definitely a lot more physical," Hornish explained. "But this is very demanding because the temperature that you face inside the car and the amount of footwork that goes into it. Plus, you have 42 other cars so there¿s nowhere to really relax. I didn¿t even find my rhythm to where I was able to try new lines until about the last five laps. The rest of the time, I was in traffic, right at the edge of my seat. The physical effort of racing these cars is very demanding. It¿s like racing in a sauna. With all the heat, I think I drank about 10 bottles of water throughout the day and I still think I¿m dehydrated."
Sunday's Ford 400 season finale will be televised on ABC and broadcast on MRN Radio starting at 3 p.m. EST.
Team owner Roger Penske said Saturday he hasn't decided if he'll move No. 2-Kurt Busch's points to Sam Hornish Jr. to guarantee the driver a spot in the first five races of next season.
Hornish is leaving the IndyCar Series for a full NASCAR schedule next season, but his No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge won't be one of the 35 cars locked into the first five races of the year. As a former series champion, Busch has a provisional that he could fall back on should he fail to qualify on speed.
"We have a number of options and we're looking at all of them ... we'll see," Penske said at Phoenix International Raceway. "This isn't all about the first five races. This is about a long career for a great race car driver and someone who has delivered for us for a long time at Penske Racing."
AVONDALE, Ariz., (Nov. 11, 2007) – For the seventh time in 2007, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, earned a top-five finish – his second straight – with a fifth-place finish in Sunday's Checkers Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Newman, who started 13th for the 312-lap race, battled a loose condition in his car at the race's beginning, but he was able to maintain a position just outside the top 10 until his first pit stop on lap 27.
After David Gilliland hit the wall coming down the frontstretch, crew chief Mike Nelson brought the Alltel Dodge down pit road for right-side tires, fuel, one round of wedge in the left rear and one round up on the right-side track bar. The two-tire, 6.11-second stop jumped Newman from 13th to second for the restart on lap 29.
Many of the cars behind Newman received four tires to his two. Within five laps of the restart, Newman was back in fourth. However, he was able to hold on strong to a top-five position.
After falling back to sixth on lap 58, Newman told his crew that his car was "really, really tight" in the center.
“I’m going to play with my line a little bit here,” Newman relayed.
Running high on both sides of the track allowed Newman to regain a spot in the top five until the next caution flag waved on lap 86 for debris.
During the next pit stop, the Alltel Dodge crew gave Newman four tires and fuel and kept him in fifth.
At the restart, Newman and Matt Kenseth battled for a few laps for the fifth spot, but Newman won out before another wreck brought out the third of 10 yellow flags.
During the next two caution periods, Nelson kept Newman on the track, allowing him to hold on to third. Newman informed his crew that he was happy with the car and its balance was pretty good. Newman would maintain third until he finally made his third pit stop on lap 140.
Even though Newman received only four tires and fuel and the Alltel crew completed the stop in 13.11 seconds, Newman still came out of the pits in 11th since the top eight cars remained on the track due to pitting earlier.
After the restart on lap 144, Newman needed only two laps to move back into the top 10 and was running ninth when the seventh caution flag waved on lap 148. The car was still pretty good, so Newman stayed on the track with the other front-runners.
Newman steadily moved toward the front of the pack and was sixth on lap 171 when he started having some problems with the car.
“I’m struggling a little bit, mostly with grip,” Newman told his crew. “I’m a little too tight. We need to free it up with bite.”
Despite the balance issues, Newman managed to move into the top five by lap 187, just before green flag pit stops began on lap 190.
Newman was running fourth when he came in for his green-flag stop on lap 220 and received four tires, fuel and two rounds of wedge out of the left rear. Newman returned to the track in 17th, still on the lead lap. By lap 224, Newman was in 10th and he began passing the cars in front of him.
“The car is definitely better,” Newman told his crew. “We need the track position, but we need to free it up a little bit on the next stop.”
Pit strategy played into the team’s hands on lap 234 when the yellow waved for the eighth time for Dave Blaney's spin. Since it had only been 13 laps since Newman had been on pit road, Nelson brought the Alltel Dodge in for fuel and a half round of wedge out of the left rear. The strategy worked and put Newman into the lead for the first time.
After leading four laps and earning five bonus points, Newman’s older tires were no match for cars with fresh tires and Kenseth took over the lead just one lap after the restart on lap 240. Tony Stewart also passed Newman, but no one else could get by him before the ninth yellow flag waved.
Newman remained third for the next 25 laps until the final caution flag, this one for debris, occurred. Newman then pitted for the final time. After receiving right-side tires and fuel, Newman restarted sixth due to two cars remaining on the track.
Newman fought his way back into the top five and for the last 20 laps held off a charging Kevin Harvick to finish fifth. It is only the third time in 11 career starts that Newman has finished in the top five at the 1-mile track. His other eight finishes have all been outside the top 10.
“The Alltel Dodge was pretty good. We knew that we were good enough to get track position with the disadvantage. With two tires or with fuel only and that was OK,” said Newman, who moved into 13th in the point standings. “I wasn’t mad about that, but I wish we just had that extra little speed so we could get on everyone else’s strategy. You know, being able to take two tires when everybody takes two, or take four when they take four. We’re getting closer to that. It’s just a matter of time.
“To have a top-five finish is great. To build on another top-five finish, that’s two in a row, that’s really great. I don’t know if we’ve done that all year, so to finish up at least two out of three would be great.”
Next weekend, Newman will drive the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger in the season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ABC and MRN Radio will broadcast the final race of the 2007 season beginning at 3 p.m. EST.
Nov 13, 2007
Penske Racing led the Dodge contingent in Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway with Ryan Newman finishing fifth and Kurt Busch placing 12th. Sam Hornish Jr. took 30th in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut.
Newman’s second straight top-five finish and his seventh this season moved him up one position in the point standings to 13th with one race remaining in the season. He is now 58 points ahead of the 14th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“The Alltel Dodge was pretty good, “ said Newman, who led once for four laps after starting 13th in the 312-lap race on the 1-mile track. “We knew we were good enough to get track position with the disadvantage; with two tires or with fuel only, and that was OK. I wasn’t mad about that, but I wish we just had that extra little speed so we could get on everyone else’s strategy. You know, being able to take two tires when everybody takes two, or take four when they take four. We’re getting closer to that. It’s just a matter of time. “
Newman consistently ran in the top 10 throughout the race after gaining track position with a two-tire stop during the first of 10 caution flags. That strategy enabled Newman to gain 11 positions, placing him in second when the race restarted on lap 29.
The Alltel crew gave Newman the lead on lap 236 with a quick pit stop during the eighth caution period. However, when the race restarted, Newman couldn’t hold off the charging Matt Kenseth, who was on fresh tires. Newman, however, never dropped lower than sixth in the final 70 laps.
“To have a top-five finish is great, “ Newman said. “To build on another top-five finish, that’s two in a row, that’s really great. I don’t know if we’ve done that all year. “
Meanwhile, Busch found himself battling a “wicked handling” Miller Lite Dodge Avenger throughout the race. His 12th-place finish also dropped him a position in the standings, leaving him 10th with one race remaining. However, he is only 47 points behind the seventh-place Kevin Harvick.
“It was pretty wicked handling for him much of the day, “ crew chief Pat Tryson said about the car that Busch qualified ninth. “We kept making some pretty big adjustments throughout the race. It wasn’t the super day we were looking for out here, but it was a good learning experience. It’s evident that we have a little catching up to do with our Miller Lite Dodge Avenger and we’re already focusing on doing all we can during the off-season to be really prepared with this car when the 2008 season kicks off next February in Daytona. “
Despite the handling problems, Busch still felt he had a “good run” in his Miller Lite Dodge.
“It was just a little too tight in one spot and a little too loose in another spot, “ Busch added. “So, all-in-all, we’ll chalk it up as a year of experience with the COTs. We have some more work to do. “
Hornish’s goals were to not cause problems for his teammates and the top two in the point standings, complete as many laps as possible, and finish in the top 30. The 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner achieved all of his objectives.
“I still have a lot to learn, but I’m enjoying the challenge. We’ll keep working our way at it and continue to get better. I’ll go into Miami with one race under my belt - a little bit less of a rookie, I guess, “ said Hornish, who will attempt another double-duty weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend.
“I’m a bit rusty as far as racing goes lately. It’s been about two months since I’ve run this long of a race and that was probably the longest I’ve run in the COT car. But I was pretty happy with the car, especially at the end. We started out tight and got a pretty long run there at the beginning where we lost a lap, but we eventually got to where the car needed to be. “
Although Hornish was two laps down at the event’s co nclusion, 310 laps allowed him to begin to define the physical differences and challenges between the Indy Car and COT car.
“If you’re running one or two laps, the Indy Car is definitely a lot more physical, “ Hornish explained. “But this is very demanding because the temperature that you face inside the car and the amount of footwork that goes into it. Plus, you have 42 other cars so there’s nowhere to really relax. I didn’t even find my rhythm to where I was able to try new lines until about the last five laps. The rest of the time, I was in traffic, right at the edge of my seat. The physical effort of racing these cars is very demanding. It’s like racing in a sauna. With all the heat, I think I drank about 10 bottles of water throughout the day and I still think I’m dehydrated. “
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
FROM - Leather District Gourmet
Beer Battered Fried Catfish
The Ryan Newman Foundation, which was awarded $10,000 from the Catfish Institute for winning the NASCAR Cook-off, does a lot of great work to help animals. Anyone interested in learning more about catfish can visit The Catfish Institute. To find a restaurant nearby serving catfish, click here.
Ryan Newman's Catfish recipe was one of the first entries in our "Teach a Man to Fish" Sustainble Seafood Event.
Beer Battered Fried Catfish
1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Everglade seasoning, optional
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
3/4 cup room-temperature beer
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets, cut into 3 to 4 inch strips
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, Everglades seasoning (if using), baking powder, paprika, white and red peppers and oregano. If not using Everglade seasoning, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in beer and egg until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
When ready to cook: In a deep skillet or large pan, pour vegetable oil to the depth of 3 inches; heat to 375°F. Stir batter and fold in catfish. When oil is hot, lift fish strips with tongs, draining excess batter; place catfish in oil several pieces at a time (do not over crowd). Fry until well browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Keep warm, repeat with remaining catfish.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Checkers®/Rally’s® Double Drive-Thru Challenge season championship still up for grabs
Ryan Newman’s over-the-wall crew took top honors in Sunday’s Checkers®/Rally’s® Double Drive-Thru Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
The No. 12 Penske Racing crew visited pit road for a total of 306.591 seconds during Sunday’s Nextel Cup event.
"The guys did a great job in the pits today, as they've done for the entire season,” said Newman. “We took a few risks by taking two tires only in order to gain track position and (crew chief) Mike Nelson did a great job making those calls. It helped us lead a few laps and get a fifth-place finish at Texas. Our last stop helped us gain five spots and we were able to hold on against teams that took four tires."
Checkers/Rally’s will present Newman’s team with an $11,000 check for winning the weekly competition. An additional $111,150 prize will be awarded to the over-the-wall crew with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race Nextel Cup schedule.
Newman’s team consists of: Bryan White (jackman), Scott Reiniger (front-tire carrier), Ben Brown (front-tire changer), Trent Cherry (rear-tire carrier), Joe Piette Jr. (rear-tire changer), George Whitley (gasman), Britt Goodrich (catch can) and Michael Warren (eighth-man). Cherry and Bob Pressley are the pit crew coaches.
With two races remaining, the Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge season championship is still up for grabs. Mark Martin’s No. 01 crew and Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 crew are currently tied for the lead with four wins each; however, six other teams are still mathematically in contention.
If there’s a tie after the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 18), the team which finishes highest in the driver point standings will be awarded the Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru season championship.
Daytona (2/18) Martin Team
California (2/25) Martin Team
Las Vegas (3/11) Martin Team
Atlanta (3/18) Johnson Team
Bristol (3/25) Hamlin Team
Martinsville (4/1) Earnhardt Team
Texas (4/15) Martin Team
Phoenix (4/21) Hamlin Team
Talladega (4/29) Kurt Busch Team
Richmond (5/6) J. Gordon Team
Darlington (5/13) J. Gordon Team
Charlotte (5/27) Hamlin Team
Dover (6/4) Newman Team
Pocono (6/10) J. Gordon Team
Michigan (6/19) Kyle Busch Team
Infineon (6/24) Harvick Team
New Hamp. (7/1) Johnson Team
Daytona (7/7) Mears Team
Chicago (7/15) Harvick Team
Indianapolis (7/29) Sorenson Team
Pocono (8/5) Newman Team
Watkins Glen (8/12) Truex Team
Michigan (8/21) Kurt Busch Team
Bristol (8/25) Bowyer Team
California (9/2) Earnhardt Team
Richmond (9/8) J. Gordon Team
New Hamp. (9/16) Kyle Busch Team
Dover (9/23) Mears Team
Kansas (9/30) Earnhardt Team
Talladega (10/7) Sauter Team
Charlotte (10/13) Bowyer Team
Martinsville (10/21) Kyle Busch Team
Atlanta (10/28) Sorenson Team
Texas (11/4) Newman Team
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Ryan Newman, whose 13 career USAC National Midget victories came on paved ovals, returns to USAC Midget racing Thursday at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway to compete in the 2007 "Copper World Classic."
Newman will pilot one of four cars entered by Keith Kunz Motorsports of Columbus, Ind. as a teammate to Bryan Clauson, Marc Jessup and Cameron Dodson in the program which includes a 25-mile feature for the Midgets on the 1-mile paved oval.
Thursday's race will be Newman's first in a USAC Midget since finishing third in a National race in July of 2006 at Columbus, Ohio, also driving for Keith Kunz and crew member Pete Willoughby. "I'm looking forward to having some fun Thursday," says Newman. "It's a nice coincidence that the Midgets are running there the same week as our NASCAR Nextel Cup Chase race. Maybe I can finally pick up a Phoenix victory. The Copper World is an important event and a win would be a nice addition to the resume."
Newman held the all-time USAC Midget qualifying record for nine years before Bobby Santos III eclipsed it last year at Iowa Speedway with a lap at 145.145 mph.
Newman, who finished second in the 1999 National standings behind Jason Leffler, last competed in the "Copper World Classic" in 2000, winning the pole and finishing second to race winner Tony Stewart. His last USAC National victory came in 2000 in a Midget at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.
USAC's 1999 Silver Crown Champion, Newman is the only driver ever to win "Rookie of the Year" honors in all three USAC National racing series.
Newman will face a formidable field in Thursday's race, including National Midget point leader Jerry Coons Jr. and Western Midget point leader Johnny Rodriguez, plus NASCAR drivers J.J. Yeley and Bobby East, defending USAC Sprint Car Champion Levi Jones and two-time "Copper World" Midget Champ Dave Steele.
Although he will be seeking his first P.I.R. victory Thursday, Newman has posted three poles and a pair of top-five finishes at the track in NASCAR Nextel Cup racing.
For just the second time in nine career races at Texas Motor Speedway, Ryan Newman earned a top-five finish in Sunday's Dickies 500.
Newman's only other top-five came in 2003 when he won the Samsung 500 after starting third. All of Newman's remaining seven races at the 1.5-mile track have resulted in finishes of 16th or lower.
Newman, who qualified 11th for Sunday's 334-lap race, had his share of issues during the event, but he was able to overcome them to finish fifth.
After taking the green flag, Newman moved up to seventh before 10 circuits were completed at the Texas track. He complained of his car being just a tick loose getting in and out of the corners and tight when he was in dirty air.
When the first of 12 caution flags waved on lap 15, Newman was still riding in seventh before coming in for his first pit stop. Crew chief Mike Nelson decided a two-tire stop was all that was needed and Newman received right-side tires, fuel and a half round of wedge in the left rear. The 6.62-second stop took Newman up to second for the restart non lap 19.
Newman fell back to fourth after just one lap, but radioed to his crew that he had spun the tires pretty bad on the restart, which caused him to lose the positions.
A third caution period that begun on lap 30 brought in many of the cars in the back of the field, while many of the front-runners remained on the track. However, after taking the green flag again on lap 33, the yellow flag would wave again on lap 36. This time, the front-runners came in, which put them in the middle of the field. Newman came in for left-side tires, fuel and a half round of wedge in the left rear. The stop lasted only 5.44 seconds, but with many cars staying out during the stop, Newman restarted in 21st.
After the green flag waved, Newman began making his way back up through the field. In 16 laps, Newman was back inside the top 15 and still climbing.
Newman was up to third, but still fighting a loose condition in his car getting into the corners when he made his first green-flag pit stop on lap 91. For the first time in the race, Nelson called for four tires, fuel and three-quarters of a round of wedge out of the right rear.
Newman came out of the pits in 14th, but was once again moving forward before the car became aero tight, especially in the middle, and halted Newman's progress toward the front of the field.
Nelson brought the Alltel Dodge back down pit road on lap 120 for four tires, fuel and a half round of wedge in the right rear during the fifth caution period. When the caution came out again on lap 132, Newman stayed out to take over the second position behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Newman challenged Earnhardt Jr. for the lead on lap 142, but Kyle Busch, who had four fresh tires, was able to get by both drivers to take over the No. 1 position. Newman finally got by Earnhardt Jr. on lap 145 just as the caution flag waved again.
For 35 laps, Newman ran second behind Busch before he had to come in for his second green-flag pit stop on lap 180 for four tires and fuel. Prior to the stop, Newman relayed to his crew that the car's balance was definitely better and was maybe just a tick tight in the center.
After the 15.48-second, green-flag stop, Newman was one lap down in 24th, but it wouldn't be long before the rest of the leaders had to make their own green-flag stops and Newman began to head toward the front again.
On lap 190, Newman was back on the lead lap and quickly moving toward the top 10.
Newman made his way into the top five on lap 202, but radioed in that the left-front tire felt like it was down. However, Newman remained in fifth until lap 228 when the car began to get tight.
The 10th caution on lap 233 allowed Newman to bring the Alltel Dodge down pit road for right-side tires, fuel and a half round of wedge in the right rear. Newman moved up to fourth from seventh when he came off pit road, but after the restart, the car was still too tight.
Newman remained in the top 10 for the rest of the 501-mile race and was even able to lead four laps after a caution on lap 298 saw him come down pit road for right-side tires and fuel only. The risky call on Nelson's part put Newman in the lead when many of the lead-lap cars took four tires.
After earning five bonus points, Newman lost the lead to Matt Kenseth on the lap 306 restart. With only 28 laps remaining, Newman's goal was to hang on to his top five run while facing drivers who had four fresh tires compared to his two.
When the checkered flag waved on lap 334, Newman was fifth in the Alltel Dodge.
"It was a good run for us to finish in the top five with the Alltel Dodge," Newman said following the race. "Nevertheless, we didn't have the best racecar on the short run. We had a decent racecar in the long runs. The short runs got us behind and we had a few of those there at the end. The two tire call was a good one to get track position. We just didn't have a fast enough racecar to stay up front."
With its quick work on pit road during the race, the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team earned its third Checker's/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge Award, which is given to the team that finishes on the lead lap and spends the least amount of time on pit road during the race. The Alltel Dodge crew also received the award after the June Dover race and the August Pocono event.
Next weekend, Newman will drive the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger in the Checkers Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. ABC and MRN Radio will broadcast the final Car of Tomorrow race this season before the car runs a full schedule in 2008 beginning at 3 p.m. EST.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Ryan Newman had a good day at Texas Motor Speedway for the Dickies 500 finishing 5th. This was Newman's 6th top 5 finish of the year.
Newman's Top 5 finish takes him 2 postions up in the points standings to 14th. He is only 72 points behind Dale Earnhardt JR in 13th and 67 points ahead of 15th position Casey Mears.
After qualifying for the race, Newman said that Mike Nelson and the team had "de-tuned" the engine a little to make sure that it lasted the whole 500 miles.
My questing is this - Has all the blown engines Newman has had this year been do to "over-tuned" engines?
In front of Newman at the checkered flag was Jimmie Johnson taking the win followed by Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex JR and Kyle Busch.
Newman ran up front for most of the day staying in or near the top 5. The couple of times he was back around 20th was due to pit strategy.
The final caution of the day (the 12th caution) came on lap 298 of the 334 lap race when Gregg Biffle spun in turn 2 and came to a stop with the cockpit was full of smoke. This set up the final round of pit stops.
Newman and crew chief Mike Nelson chose to go with only 2 tires for a quick pit stop. This led to Newman being the first out of the pits.
Newman took the green flag followed by Matt Kenseth, Jaime McMurray, Martin Truex JR and Jimmie Johnson.
One lap latter Matt Kenseth gets around Newman and he starts falling back.
RYAN NEWMAN'S QUOTE ON THE TEXAS RACE -
"It was a good run for us to finish in the top five with the alltel Dodge. Nevertheless, we didn’t have the best racecar on the short run. We had a decent racecar in the long runs. The short runs got us behind and we had a few of those there at the end. The two tire call was a good one to get track position. We just didn’t have a fast enough racecar to stay up front."
The final laps proved to be pretty exciting. I am not a fan of Matt Kenseth or Jimmie Johnson but they had some hard racing at the end. They were side by side a couple of times and Matt Kenseth was getting loose. Jimmie Johnson finally got by him and took the checkered flag.
Top 10 Finishers Where -
1 8 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 190/5 334 Running
2 18 17 Matt Kenseth Ford USG Sheetrock / DEWALT 175/5 334 Running
3 1 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 170/5 334 Running
4 17 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg's 170/10 334 Running
5 11 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 160/5 334 Running
6 27 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 150/0 334 Running
7 2 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 151/5 334 Running
8 6 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 147/5 334 Running
9 24 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal Special Reserve 138/0 334 Running
10 4 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 134/0 334 Running
It's a familiar and unsettling story for Ryan Newman.
Running in the top 10 two-thirds of the way through last Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Atlanta, Newman's No. 12 Penske Dodge encounters engine trouble and he winds up finishing 37th.
Engine failures, flat tires, crashes and a multitude of gremlins. All have seemingly been constant companions since the 2004 season for a driver once considered a top star in the elite stock car series.
Newman won 35 poles and had 12 victories through 2005, his fourth full season in Cup races. Since then, there has been little to celebrate, other than an occasional pole for the guy whose consistent speed on qualifying day earned the nickname "Rocketman."
His last win came at New Hampshire in the fall of 2005, but a recent resurgence has raised a few eyebrows in the garage and done wonders for the 2002 Rookie of the Year's confidence.
In the three weeks before Atlanta, Newman had finishes of fifth at Talladega, 28th at Charlotte and second at Martinsville. He could just as easily have won all of them, including the Charlotte race where a blown tire knocked him out of the lead and sent his car into the wall with five laps remaining.
"The performance has been a lot better," Newman said. "It's all attributed to teamwork and just pure car performance -- that's the biggest thing. Everybody at the shop has done a great job to step up and be better.
"We had a big personnel change in the offseason, and that was hard to battle through. Secondly, the performance of the race car has improved dramatically in the last half of the season. Those three races we had a shot of winning in the last three laps. Not everybody can say that. Especially after a rebound, it's nice to be able to say that."
Although he missed out on the Chase for the championship for the second consecutive year and is currently 16th in the standings, Newman is feeling good about the present and the future heading into the final three events of 2007, starting with Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway.
He's even OK answering questions about not winning his most recent races.
"I'm glad we're rebounding to the point where we can talk about it," he said. "There's potential. We didn't have potential for a long time.
"Before this year, I lost a lot of confidence as a driver. I didn't lose any ability, but the confidence gives you that extra edge. The ability just allows you to do it and that confidence is what's helped me with my qualifying and getting better track position, which helps us all the way through the race."
Another big part of the resurgence is the rapport Newman has developed with teammate Kurt Busch, who replaced longtime NASCAR star Rusty Wallace in the team's No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2006. It was no secret that Newman and Wallace did not get along and had little communication.
Busch made the 12-man Chase this year with his own late-season surge after Pat Tryson took over as his crew chief. And the friendship of the two drivers, as well as Tryson and Mike Nelson, Newman's crew chief, has made a difference.
"The relationship between Kurt and me has been good and I think, more importantly, the teams, the two crew chiefs, the race engineers, even down to the shock guys," Newman said. "I've seen Miller Lite shirts in my truck 100 times more this year than I have in the last six years put together. And vice versa."
Team owner Roger Penske likes what he is seeing from Newman.
"Ryan's a great race driver and it's just a matter of getting the right car under him," Penske said. "And I think he's got confidence now. He's had a couple of tough breaks with some engine issues. But, overall, I think we've got a solid guy there and you're going to see a great last couple of races."
Ryan Newman and his #12 ALLTEL Dodge Penske Racing team were the 4 fastest in the third practice at Texas Motor Speedway for the Dickies 500 . Newman\'s practice run included a speed of 186.638/28.933 putting him -0.053 behind the fastest of the practice, Jimmie Johnson. Practice 3 Results
Practice 1 Results
Practice 2 Results
Ryan Newman and his #12 ALLTEL Dodge Penske Racing team were the 11 fastest in the second practice at Texas Motor Speedway for the Dickies 500 . Newman\'s practice run included a speed of 187.454/28.807 putting him -0.346 behind the fastest of the practice, Tony Stewart. Practice 2 Results
Practice 1 Results