Sunday, September 2, 2007

Newman's Evening Ends Early In The Camping World 300

FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 1, 2007) Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, was relegated to a 31st-place finish Saturday night after his car's engine dropped a cylinder with 51 laps remaining in the Camping World 300 at California Speedway.

Newman pitted as soon as he noticed the problem to allow the Kodak Dodge team a chance to check under the hood, but when the problem wasnt visible on pit road, crew chief Matt Gimbel told Newman to take the car to the garage.

After qualifying fourth for the 150-lap event on Friday, Newmans Kodak Dodge fell back through the field once the race began. However, Newman came on the radio to reassure his team that nothing was wrong with the car.

Im just getting a feel for the car, Newman said. Maybe a tick on the free side, but I just want to see how the car feels since this is the first time Im driving it with these changes and the fresh tires. It feels OK right now.

An early caution prevented Newman from getting a good feel for his car, but when the field restarted on lap 8, Newman moved back into the top five while battling a tight condition in his Dodge from the center of the corners off.

On lap 46, Newman came down pit road for a green-flag stop. The Kodak Dodge team gave Newman four fresh tires, fuel and one round of wedge in the right rear. Kyle Busch was penalized for speeding off of pit road, so when the green-flag stops cycled through, Newman was running second. However, the car was way too loose and Newman began falling back. He stalled in the seventh spot.

A multi-car accident on lap 68 brought out the red flag one lap later for 28 minutes so track personnel could repair the SAFER barrier in turn one. When the race returned to yellow and pit road opened, Newman came in for right-side tires, fuel and three rounds down on the right-side track bar. The two-tire stop put Newman in the lead when the field restarted on lap 75.

Two fresh tires couldnt hold up against everyone elses four and Newman went backwards, again.

The car is still too free and lacks grip, he told his crew. It feels like its getting looser.

Newman and Greg Biffle were battling for sixth when Biffle spun, bringing out the race's third of six yellow flags. Newman came back down pit road during the caution period to try to tighten the car some more.

We have to get four tires, Newman told his crew.

Newman got his four tires along with fuel and two more rounds down on the right-side track bar, but when the field returned to green-flag conditions on lap 99, Newman radioed in that he was down on seven cylinders and on lap 100, Newman drove the Kodak Dodge into the garage.

Next weekend, Newman will drive the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger at Richmond International Raceway for his last NASCAR Busch Series race this season. The Emerson Radio 250 will be broadcast live by ESPN2 and MRN Radio beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

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