Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Newman, Alltel Team Looking For Special Row Of Bricks

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 25, 2007) ¿ A row of bricks never had as much meaning as they do at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, better known as the Brickyard. Tradition holds that the winning team at the Brickyard kisses the row of bricks in celebration.

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, and the Alltel Dodge team look forward to kissing those bricks after 43 cars have driven over that legendary row at the start/finish line for 160 laps.

The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday afternoon will be Newman¿s seventh Cup start at the 2.5-mile track and the 208th of his career in the Cup Series.

Newman possesses an average start of 5.5 and an average finish of 20.7 at the massive facility. All six of Newman¿s previous starts have come from the eighth position or higher, including three from the top five and a career-best second in 2003.

¿Indianapolis is one of the biggest races of the year for Cup drivers. It ranks right up there with Daytona and Charlotte,¿ Newman said. ¿Being from Indiana, it would be nice to get a win at the Brickyard. It¿s also getting down to the wire for the Chase and this Alltel Dodge team is so close. We¿ve had some good runs and we¿ve been making up a lot of ground in the last couple of weeks. We just need to put together seven more solid races to make it in this year. I fully believe that this team can do it. We¿ve had some time to relax and now we¿re ready to get back to racing.¿

Newman has only one top-10 finish ¿ a fourth in 2002 ¿ and two inside the top 15 at IMS. His other three finishes have been 31st or worse.

The Indiana native has led 14 laps in two races at Indy and has completed all but 10 laps at the track -- 951 of 961 possible laps -- since he made his debut at the speedway in 2001. That gives Newman a 99 percent completion rate.

Crew chief Mike Nelson and the Alltel Dodge team will take chassis PRS-069 to Indianapolis, which has not been on the track since April 2006 when it was used at Martinsville Speedway. The back-up car for Indy ¿ PRS-104 - was last used at Pocono in June. Newman started on the pole ¿ his third straight and his fourth of the season ¿ and finished second after rain ended that race early.

ESPN begins its 2007 season coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis. Live coverage begins at 1 p.m. EDT. IMS Radio will also cover the race live at 1 p.m.

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