Thursday, June 28, 2007

Newman Continues To Fight His Way To The Title Chase

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 26, 2007) – Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, didn’t leave Infineon Raceway with the finish he wanted, having to settle for 20th, but it was still enough to boost him up two spots in the drivers’ standings to 13th.

With 10 races remaining before the fourth annual "Chase for the Championship" begins, Newman is 96 points out of 12th, this year's cut-off position for the title chase.

This weekend, Newman and the Alltel Dodge team head to New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., for the LENOX Industrial Tools 300 and a good chance at making the Chase for the third time in four years. Loudon is the site of Newman’s last win in the Cup series, which occurred in September 2005, as well as the first in his Cup career. This will be Newman’s 11th start at the track and his 205th in the Cup series.

Newman has an average start of 5.8 at NHIS – the best among active drivers – and an average finish of 11.4 – third among active drivers behind Denny Hamlin (5.0) and Matt Kenseth (10.9). Newman has only two starts outside the top 10 – a 16th and a 13th – and has earned four Bud Pole Awards, second behind Jeff Gordon (5). Newman earned his second pole award of 2006 at this same race last year.

Along with his eight top-10 starts, Newman has seven top-10 finishes at Loudon, including two wins. Of the seven top-10 finishes, five of those have been from the top five.

Newman has led a lap in nine of his 10 races at Loudon for a total of 515 laps. Only Jeff Burton, Gordon and Tony Stewart have led more laps than Newman among the active drivers. Newman has completed 97.7 percent of the laps possible at New Hampshire – 2,848 of 2,915 – since he made his Cup debut at the track in 2002.

“I like running at Loudon; it’s a fun track to race at. I’ve had some really good success here in the past and I look forward to racing here every year,” Newman said. “We’ve got a really good chance to win at this track and (crew chief) Mike (Nelson) and the whole team have done a great job this whole year giving me fast race cars. I think we’ll have a really good chance of getting the pole this weekend, leading laps and competing for the win.”

Nelson and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger team will take chassis PRS-513 as the primary car to Loudon. This COT car ran at Darlington Raceway in May where Newman qualified 29th and finished fourth.

The back-up car for New Hampshire is PRS-509, which was tested at Richmond in April and has been the back-up car at many of the Car of Tomorrow races. However, it has yet to see action during a race.

Coverage of Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 300 from NHIS begins at 1 p.m. EDT. TNT and MRN Radio will broadcast the race live.


emilyc said...

To add to your story- I was listening to Ryan's podcast yesterday on and he was talking about New Hampshire and how his pole position was critical to his success at the track and how tough track position is.

Do you think he can pull out a trip to VL this weekend?

MIKE said...

Newman has a great record at New Hampshire. And on top of that he is due a win. I think it is very realistic to expect him in VL this weekend.