Sunday, August 12, 2007

Newman Claims 9th In Busch Series Road Race Finale

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 11, 2007) – Ryan Newman fought off a tenacious Andy Lally in the closing laps of Saturday's Zippo 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen International to bring his No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger home in ninth.

It was the second top-10 finish for Newman in five Busch Series races this season.

The dual between Newman and Lally erupted with less than 10 laps remaining after Newman forced his way by Denny Hamlin in turn one. Newman, who was 10th when the 82-lap race restarted on lap 73 after the fifth and final caution period, barreled off into turn one under Hamlin with seven laps remaining. Newman's Kodak Dodge slid wide and took Hamlin with it into the paved run-off area. Both kept racing and Newman completed the pass.

Newman now focused his yellow No. 12 Kodak Dodge on Lally. The dual began, and as they entered turn 11 on the 2.45-road course, Lally shoved Newman to the outside. Newman kept control of his car and continued down the frontstretch, maintaining a slim advantage over the hard charging Lally until the checkered flag.

Newman, who qualified third for the event, set himself up for a hard run down the stretch by pitting for fuel only during the third caution period that consumed laps 50-51. That left Newman 19th on the restart, but there was speculation that several cars in front of him would need fuel before the finish. With 28 laps remaining, Newman had gained six positions, and he cracked the top 10 with 21 laps to go. However, two caution flags in the final 15 laps allowed several drivers, including winner Kevin Harvick, to complete the race without pitting again.

With the exception of the third caution period, Newman ran in the top 10 for most of the race, but never made it any higher than his starting position.

Newman's next Busch Series race is Aug. 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger. In March, Newman qualified second and finished fourth in the No. 12 Kodak Dodge in the high-banked short track's Busch Series event. His next appearance in the No. 12 Kodak Dodge is Labor Day weekend at California Speedway.

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