Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy 200th Race Ryan Newman

The Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will be Ryan Newman’s 200th Nextel Cup start of his career.

With 199 races under his belt, Newman has 12 wins, 55 top 5’s and 87 top 10’s and 38 pole positions since his first race in the Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 5, 2000 .All that topped off with 31 DNF’s. OUCH!! I have not really studied anyone else’s stats to compare Newman’s too, not do I want to! But over all his record does not seem that bad to me. It may not be great, but definitely not bad.

Newman joined Penske in 2000, won 3 of 5 ARCA races and made his NEXTEL Cup debut.

In 2001 Newman raced in the ARCA, Busch, and Nextel Cup series. He had a very full schedule that year and managed to graduate from Purdue University with a degree in vehicle structure engineering.

In 2002 Newman had his first full year in the Nextel Cup finishing sixth in the points; tied Mark Martin for the most top-10 finishes in a season with 22, a rookie record; became just the second rookie to win The Winston all-star race; led the series with six poles, another rookie record that broke the one established by Davey Allison in 1987; posted 14 top-10 finishes, second only to series champion Tony Stewart with 15; and tied Stewart in races led, holding the No. 1 position in 22 events. He also claimed his first career Cup victory in a rain-shortened race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Newman backed up his outstanding rookie performance with the most prolific sophomore season by a Cup driver since Dale Earnhardt won the series championship in 1980. Newman and the Alltel team won eight races, 11 poles, and led the most miles with 1,509.13. His series-high 11 poles were the most since 1985. Newman also tied Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the most races led during the season at 24, and ended the year with a series-high 17 top-five finishes. Newman’s sophomore year complimented his rookie year. He finished the year with 8 wins, 11 poles, and led the most miles with 1,509.13. His 11 poles were the most in one season since 198. Newman also tied Dale Earnhardt JR. with the most races led during the season at 24. He also ended the year with a series high 17 top 5 finishes.

2003 and 2004 were “slow” Newman. He had a win in 2003 at Michigan. In 2004 he barely made it into the chase (first year of the chase) and ended 7th in points.
2005 saw a better season for Newman, but nothing like his first two seasons in a Cup car.

2006 was by far the most disappointing season for Ryan Newman and his Alltel Dodge. This was the first year for him and his ALLTEL team to finish outside the top 10 finishing in 18th.

This year is looking up for Newman. He is currently 13th in the points standing and only 51 points away from 12th. With 11 races completed this year already, Newman has 1 pole, 1 top 5 and 4 top 10 finishes. He had a slowish start, but seems to be picking up steam.

Is the Coca-Cola 600 Newman’s time for a win?? Let’s hope so. He is over due. 56 races since a win! That would be great if on his 200th race, his “races since last win” number goes back to 0.


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