Saturday, April 28, 2007

Talladega Viewer's Guide

Steve Byrnes /
Posted: 5 hours ago

With the Chase for the Nextel Cup 18 races away, some teams are bordering on desperation. Since he finished 7th in the Daytona 500, Kasey Kahne's best finish is 19th at Bristol. Owner Ray Evernham has said that they won't contend for a championship until they improve on restrictor plate tracks.

Darrell Waltrip says desperate times require desperate measures, and desperate men do desperate things. We're past the point when teams can say they have to be careful at Talladega because you can be up front or in the back and get wrecked. The teams struggling that are struggling to get into the top 35 and stay there just have to finish the race.

Who to Watch
Jeff Gordon: With momentum following a win last week at Phoenix, Gordon won this race two years ago.
Tony Stewart: Strong at Daytona until he was the first car crashed out of the race, there's a little bit of irony with Stewart. In 2002, he finished 43rd in the Daytona 500, too, and he came back and won the championship that year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: His father is the master at Talladega with 10 wins, and Dale Jr. is second on the all-time list with five victories. He's due, too, after having a great race car and getting crashed in Texas, and then he got trapped in the pits at Phoenix.
Jamie McMurray: Although he finished 31st at Daytona, McMurray ran as high as third in the 500. He's my sleeper pick this week.
Kyle Busch: The No. 5 was a great race car at Daytona. He didn't have the finish to show for it, but he had a great piece so he should be one to watch on Sunday.

What to Watch
On the offensive: Racing at Talladega is like a high-scoring football game. It's the epitome of a track meet, and it's going to be wide open. It would be easier to say who aren't we going to watch.
Hanging back: I've seen Dale Jarrett used different strategy. He won at Talladega, leading the very last lap in the October race a couple of years ago. Sometimes he hangs near the back. The Yates cars are always strong on the restrictor plate tracks. Gilliland and Rudd both qualified well at Daytona. For Dale Jarrett, I've seen him use different strategies.
Coopetition: You'll see two-tire stops and drivers running and pitting together so they won't lose momentum on pit road. You'll see wheeling and dealing in the pits, on the racetrack and atop the spotters' tower.
'Getting a good suck:' You'll hear drivers talk about getting a good suck or a good pull from the car in front of them. Being fast by yourself in qualifying is one thing, but they want to run together in packs and pull up on the car in front of them. Part of it is drafting. Part of it's just trying to figure out your closing rate and how quickly you can make the pass and keep your momentum.

Pit Perspectives
At Phoenix, I was really impressed with Ryan Newman and the No. 12 team. They cracked the top five. Like a lot of guys, Newman was fighting a tight race car, but they kept getting the car better and better. They had a miscommunication in the pits, and they fell to 38th, which is hard to believe. It's an example of how perfect you have to be these days.

Finish Line
It's very basic at Talladega. You have to be in position on the last lap. Mark Martin said it repeatedly — with a lot of class — after the Daytona 500. He kept saying, "I lost my pusher," referring to Kyle Busch who had been behind him. Assuming you've made it through all of the race to lap 188, you have to be in position to win. In this year's Great American Race, Kevin Harvick's run off of Turn 2 at Daytona was pretty spectacular, but he wasn't in the garage. And he wasn't so far back in the pack that he lost momentum and any shot to run to the front.

sorce - foxsports

Talladega: Dodge teams qualifying quotes

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger) -- 32nd
"It was an OK lap. I guess it doesn't much matter. We'll see where it ends up. We're relatively close to Kurt so we can get together and work together. We've had a good reputation from the first race together. We want to keep that up. I wish we had six of us, but two will have to do. This isn't racing anyway in my opinion. This is a track position game and whose team built them a good racecar. Obviously a driver has a small part to do with it, but not like at other tracks. I always thought it was 50-50 with the driver and car. Here it's about 80-20 car to driver. You've got to survive every race, and this track is no different. You've just got to do what you've got to do."

SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger) -- Fastest Dodge, qualified 9th

"We have to come here with our objectives to make sure we make it in the race first. This year has gone miserable for us, but everyone has put their heads together and staying focused and putting our priorities in order. We're coming together has a whole and we're really putting our best foot forward trying to put this program together at Evernham Motorsports. My hat's off to every one of our sponsors who have stayed behind us and haven't put any more pressure on us. They have the confidence in us. I'm proud of everyone at Evernham Motorsports. The motor shop has stepped up on the restrictor-plate program and they've proved it this weekend. My guys have worked extra hard making sure this car was fast enough to get in the show.

"Handling is not going to be an issue. Track position is going to be the key. We didn't have to do anything detrimental to our race package to get qualified, so our car is pretty much set to go in race trim. I think we'll be in good shape."


BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios Racing/Spiderman-3 Dodge Charger) -- 41st

"We were better than we were last year. We picked up about four tenths. The way our car is set up it's not really set up for qualifying. That might have hurt us a little bit for qualifying, but it wasn't bad. We didn't expect a whole lot more. I know we've got a lot of work left to do, but we got out of here with a respectable run. A starting spot is a starting spot here."


REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) -- 33rd

"It was kinda like driving around 285 in Atlanta. I think everybody is concentrating on drafting and wherever you qualify is wherever it is. It's not where you start. It's where you finish."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- 39th

"I wasn't really worried about qualifying. The almighty draft tomorrow will be the equalizer. We'll race hard, try to get some momentum back and gain some points."


KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Nations Tire & Battery Dodge Charger) -- 25th

"That was a really good run. We didn't run anywhere close to that yesterday in practice. Billy Wilburn and the guys did a great job, and the guys at Evernham engines worked really hard to come up with a combination that really helped us. Bobby is running good, and they spent a lot of time focusing on race stuff yesterday. We made one qualifying run, but I think we're going to both be fine."


JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) -- 26th

"We've taken big steps here since last year, so I'm happy. Qualifying really doesn't mean anything here. We'll wait and see what happens. I think we've got a decent car. We'll see."


DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Wrigley's Winterfresh Dodge Charger) -- 22nd

"It wasn't what we thought it would be. We thought we'd be a lot better, but it's just an impound race. We'll race good. It doesn't matter where you start. It's where you finish. I think going out later hurt. It's a little windier, but I'm not a weatherman, so I don't really know, but we're not bad."


KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- 28th

"It's a little cooler right now, so an early draw can help you some days and hurt you some days. Today was a good day to go early. We feel like our Miller Lite Dodge has been pretty good. We backed up the time we ran yesterday, so we'll see where we end up. The car likes to draft, and that's where the big money is Sunday. This is our Talladega car, but it's the same general principle of restrictor-plate racing. At Talladega it's not about handling with the new asphalt, so we have to go as fast as we can all the time. Here's my mentality about Talladega. I treat this place just like I treat Bristol. I confuse everybody when I say that, but I just come here to survive. I protect the race car and try to do the best I can to be there at the end. The top is usually the most vulnerable spot on the racetrack, so I try not to run on the top side, but you try to work your way up to the top 10 and run toward the front. If you can't quite do that, you've got to look around and see who you're racing with and if you feel comfortable you're OK. Newman looks solid. I can't wait for us to hook up and do the things we've done in the past at restrictor-plate tracks. We've had our problems with caution flags the last two weeks. I should be right there with him (Tony Stewart) waving the flag, but he's battling his own battle. If we continue to run strong and keep putting ourselves in the right position we hope eventually everything will even itself out, and it usually does."


KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) -- 30th

"That was better than we ran yesterday. We made one qualifying run yesterday and felt like that was good for it. I'm proud of my guys. The Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger was pretty quick. Last year we ran second when the track was redone. It should be fun. The track is a lot of fun to drive now with it smooth and a lot of grip. We'll see how it goes. The Busch race today should be fun, and then we've got it again tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. We're looking to getting off to a better start and getting rolling. We need to step up our program."

source -

Ryan Newman Qualified 28 for the Aaron's 499.

Ryan Newman has qualified 28 for the Aaron's 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway. Newman had a speed of 189.429 / 50.552 / -0.695.

Today's 28 place qualifying will give Newman and his #12 NASCAR Nextel Cup Team and average start this season of 20.89.

Jeff Gordon got the pole position for the Aaron's 499 with a time of 192.069 / 49.857. David Gillian tied Jeff Gordon for the pole position but the position was given to Gordon based on points.

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway

Qualifying Order

Practice 1 Results

Practice 2 Results

NASCAR Not Changing Restrictor Plate At Talladega For Cup Race

Last October teams had to make a mad dash on Saturday morning to get new restrictor plates on thier cup cars. There was some fear that would happen this morning with fast practice times in yesterdays practices.

In practice one Kasey Kahne and two others turned at least one lap over 198 mph and Robby Gordon had the fastest second practice time at almost 197.5 mph. 4 others also broke the 197 mph mark (including Ryan Newman and the #12 Kodak Dodge in 3rd).

So there was some concern that NASCAR would want to but on restrictor plates with smaller holes to somewhat reduce the horsepower and slow the cars down a little. NASCAR has said that they are not to worried about it but that they will be keeping an eye on it during qualifying. They were also speculating that maybe the crews were running more of a qualifying setup than a racing setup.

There is still a chance that NASCAR will want to put a different restrictor plate on after qualifying today. I am curious how that would work. This is an impound race and the crews are not allowed to make changes to their cars after qualifying.

The second practice resulted in slightly slower speeds but over all speeds were well above last falls qualifying speed of almost 192 mph.

Mike Pratt

Catch Ryan Newman’s Qualifying Attempt Today At Talladega

Ryan Newman and his #12 Kodak Dodge will be qualifying 32nd today for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. After Qualifying there will not be another practice.

TODAY - 4/28/07 SPPED - 11:00am QUALIFYING

Obviously the qualifying results are not up yet, but the links below will take you to the results once has them posted.

Qualifying Order Practice 1 Results Practice 2 Results

POLL - Where Will Ryan Newman Finish At Talladega?

Time for a new poll. For Talladega. So lets hear it. Where will Ryan Newman and his #12 Kodak Dodge finish this weekend?

Last week I correctly guessed Ryan Newman and #12 Alltel Dodge's finish(here)....kind of. I predicted that he would have a top 10 night. Which he did. Heck he might have even got a top 5 if it weren't for that caution....but we all know that story. Just so eveyone knows, in the poll I posted before my prediction, I picked a top 20 position. Oh well.

Ryan Newman 3 For Aaron's 499 2nd Practice

Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team had their second practice at Talladega Superspeedway today for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Aaron's 499
Newman had the 3 fastest practice speed of 197.24 mph / 48.55 sec.

Newman was seconds behind the leader Robby Gordon who had a practice time of 197.423 / 48.505.

Practice 2 Results

Practice 1 Results

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway

Friday, April 27, 2007

NASCAR fines Stewart

So they fined him for not doing the press conference after the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Stewart seemed pretty sure that there was nothing in contracts stating that he had to do the press conferences. If thats the case, how can he be fined? Granted this is a nothing fine, same as Montoya got, but still it is the principle of it. IF and I do mean IF he is not required to do something, then how can he get fined for not doing that something? HHMMMMM! - Mike Pratt

TALLADEGA, Ala. - NASCAR officials fined Tony Stewart $10,000 and placed the Joe Gibbs Racing driver on probation until Dec. 31 Friday afternoon.

Stewart was penalized for failing to go to the media center after finishing second in the Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway last week.


Ryan Newman 32nd For Arrons 499 1st Practice

Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team had their first practice at Talladega Superspeedway today for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Arrons 499

Newman had the 32 fastest practice speed of 194.117 mph / 49.331 sec.

Newman was -1.134 seconds behind the leader, Kasey Kane who a practice time of 198.685 / 48.197.

Practice 1 Results

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the Arrons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway

Final Phoenix TV ratings drop 8.3 percent

Fox's broadcast of last Saturday night's Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.4 and a 9 market share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.

The race earned the highest rating of any weekend sports event, but the rating was 8.3 percent lower than the 4.8/9 the race earned in 2006.


Is Tony Right?

I am not a Stewart fan at all but I think that this is an interesting subject and worth a little discussion.

Well for starters it looks like Tony will be receiving some sort of penalty on this situation later today. Obviously NASCAR officials at fuming over this, but do they really have the right to "control" what Tony (or anyone) says outside of NASCAR. Tony was not at a NASCAR event when he said this. He was on his radio show. Does NASCAR have a hand in Tony's show, I don't know but I also don't think so. So, basically Tony or anyone else out there, is not allowed to have free speech. I understand that he "bashed" NASCAR and that makes NASCAR officials look bad and sound bad. But how many NON-NASCAR fans followed this story? I bet there are a few....which only equals out to more press and visibility for NASCAR. Bottom line, Tony and every other driver/crew member should be able to say what they want about a race, NASCAR or anything without getting penalized.

Now, do I think Tony was right? HHmmmm! Well, I know he is frustrated with not winning yet this year. There are plenty of other drivers that have not won yet either. I do think he has a point about about to many debris cautions BUT I do not think NASCAR is "playing God". Granted it would be easy to fall into that frame of thought. With ticket sales and ratings down, NASCAR would love for every race to be a close one so that later on the evening news people that don't watch might catch a glimpse of finish and want to watch the following week. BUT, once again, I do not think NASCAR is doing this. Are they possibly being a little to cautious? I think so. How many times have they said "caution, debris in turn 2" and the camera pans over to turn 2 and you don't see anything? Seems like that happens a lot.

I think Tony is "kinda" right. Right about to many debris cautions, wrong about NASCAR "playing God". I am all for the safety of the drivers. If there is a brake pad or something on the track, throw the caution! But it just seems to me that there are to many debris cautions. I get frustrated when there is a good race going on and debris cautions are coming out left and right. I want to see green, not yellow!

Stewart Apologizes For Radio Remarks

Tony Stewart’s day began early at Talladega – 6 a.m. to be precise, which is when the two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion was summoned for a high-level confab with NASCAR official over some comments made by Stewart earlier in the week on his SIRIUS radio show. NASCAR refused to let Stewart’s Joe Gibbs Racing team unload his No. 20 off the hauler Friday morning until Stewart met with officials from the sanctioning body.

And Stewart was properly contrite afterwards. “You can’t fix stupid a lot of times,” he said. “I’m getting better about not saying stupid things at the wrong times, but I’m not totally cured yet.”

NASCAR will announce what action it will take with regards to Stewart later Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway, said NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter.

Stewart appeared in the Talladega media center Friday morning, when he apologized for comments he made on his radio show. Five hours earlier, at 6 a.m., he met with a group of NASCAR officials who he declined to identify, but Stewart made it clear that the tone of the meeting was intense.

“The meeting this morning was a good meeting,” Stewart said of the NASCAR sit down. “It’s a little tender for me to sit down right now, but I’m semi-confident that by the time practice starts, the medication that I’ve got will numb it up enough that I can go out and do my job.”

Stewart’s radio comments on Tuesday were highly inflammatory, questioning NASCAR’s credibility and suggesting that debris cautions were being thrown not because of debris on track, but to bunch the fields. “To me it's not all about the money, it's about the integrity of the sport, and when I feel our own sanctioning body isn't taking care of that, it's hard to support them and feel proud about being a driver in the Nextel Cup Series when they're throwing debris cautions,” Stewart said. “It's like playing God. They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It's happened too many times this year. You get so frustrated ... But enough of it's gone on that fans are writing in and talking about it. At what point does NASCAR get the hint? I guess NASCAR thinks, ‘Hey wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too.’ … I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR. I don't know that they've run a fair race all year.”

But after the NASCAR meeting Friday morning, Stewart had a different perspective. “They assured me that the debris cautions are for things that are out there,” he said. “They say that there are things that are out there and to be honest, the group that I spoke with this morning is a group of peers that I trust. If they tell me stuff is out there, I believe them.”

Stewart, who finished second at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday night, also skipped the mandatory post-race press conference, which NASCAR requires of the second- and third-place finishers at each race.

“We tried to learn from our mistakes before, and I’ve went to the media center and been furious before and said things I didn’t want to say,” Stewart said. “Tuesday night I was sick and still ended up saying things I didn’t want to say, or shouldn’t have said, and got in trouble for it. I should have went to them (NASCAR) instead of saying it in public.”

Stewart forced to meet with NASCAR; car held

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Tony Stewart met with NASCAR officials early this morning after a week in which he first skipped out on postrace media obligations following his second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway and then bashed the sanctioning body on his weekly radio show.

According to the NASCAR entry blank, "the second and third place drivers, and the highest finishing Rookie of the Year candidate, must also report to the media center upon conclusion of the race."

Since he left the track without fulfilling his obligation to speak to TV reporters or appear in the media center, Stewart has lashed out at NASCAR on his weekly radio show. The two-time Cup champion questioned the timing of some cautions for debris while comparing NASCAR to professional wrestling.

The series of comments resulted in the sanctioning body issuing a statement saying officials found his remarks "disappointing."

Stewart met with officials at 7 a.m. EDT, and NASCAR did not let his Joe Gibbs Racing team unload its car from the transporter until that meeting ended at 7:35 a.m. Other competitors had unloaded their cars and begin work when the garage opened at 7 a.m.

Stewart is scheduled to meet with the media later this morning.


War of words in lawsuit between AT&T, NASCAR

By Mark Aumann,
April 27, 200711:48 AM EDT

ATLANTA -- Is AT&T Mobility using an "ambush strategy" to wreck Nextel's exclusive title sponsorship agreement with NASCAR? Or is Sprint bent on "booting out" of the series a sponsor that was grandfathered in four years ago?

During Thursday's four-hour preliminary injunction hearing in a U.S. district courtroom, federal judge Marvin H. Shoob listened to arguments from lawyers representing AT&T Mobility, NASCAR and Sprint/Nextel.

At issue is the sponsorship of the No. 31 Chevrolet owned by Richard Childress Racing. Current sponsor Cingular was one of a handful of telecommunications companies given an exemption when Nextel became entitlement sponsor of NASCAR's premier series in 2003.

However, with the December acquisition of Bell South by AT&T, the Cingular brand is reportedly being phased out, which leaves Judge Shoob with what appears to be a difficult and complex ruling: Does NASCAR have the right under its exclusivity contract with Nextel to lawfully reject a paint scheme featuring AT&T and the globe logo?

Both sides presented compelling arguments supporting their positions during the hearing.

David L. Balser, an Atlanta attorney representing AT&T Mobility, used excerpts from three contracts -- the original sponsorship agreement between Cingular and RCR, the driver-owner contract between RCR and NASCAR and the title sponsor agreement between NASCAR and Nextel -- in an attempt to show the judge that under grandfather rights, AT&T can legally sponsor the car.

"There are only two limitations," Balser said, referring to the 2003 agreement. "We cannot improve our brand position -- from an associate to primary sponsor -- and we cannot move our sponsorship from the current team to another. But there's nothing in the contract that says we can't change our name.

"We're the same company, the same network, the same service and we're still the primary sponsor."

Balser pointed out that an amendment to the original agreement was added in 2006 which specifically deals with the potential acquisition of Alltel and Cingular, which was then dated April 4, 2005.

"They knew full well that the original terms did not prevent a brand change," Balser said.

However, NASCAR's outside counsel, David R. Gelfand, disagreed, saying AT&T seeks "to change the status quo, not maintain the status quo."

Gelfand provided a timeline that he said showed NASCAR has been "even-handed" in its refusal to grant re-branding to competitors of Nextel, describing a pattern of memos between NASCAR, RCR and Cingular dating back to the beginning of the Nextel agreement.

He also pointed to NASCAR's rule book, which contains a clause that states "NASCAR retains the right to refuse to permit advertising or paint schemes for any reason." Gelfand said by agreeing to abide by the rules, RCR and Cingular were bound by that rule.

"And despite knowledge of all these communications, Cingular renewed its sponsorship with RCR in 2004," Gelfand said.

But Balser challenged that point, claiming all of those instances dealt with "limited pass-through rights" -- referring to one-time special paint scheme sponsorships -- and not changes to the primary sponsorship.

The hearing turned contentious at times, given the relationship between the two major corporations and their ongoing efforts to gain an upper hand in the wireless market. Peter Canfield, outside counsel for Nextel, said "the harm to Nextel's investment would be great, indeed" if AT&T's re-branding was granted.

"Nextel's intention was not to benefit competing sponsors," Canfield said about the decision to grandfather Cingular and Alltel four years ago. "The expectation was that [those sponsorships] would be short-lived."

Balser produced a document he claimed was an internal Sprint e-mail from earlier this year, including a line that said NASCAR was willing to work out a compromise over the issue, but Sprint officials determined "no benefit would be superior to having AT&T booted out of the sport."

"They're trying to use our name change to drive us out of the sport," he said.

In NASCAR's defense, Gelfand brought to light an internal AT&T memo from February, attempting to show that AT&T was hoping to "force its way into the sport" by means of what he termed ambushing, a marketing strategy based on the encroachment of Nextel's exclusive sponsorship rights. He also showed the deposition of a former Cingular employee who testified that the company immediately began looking for loopholes as soon as the Nextel agreement was signed.

Judge Shoob set May 7 as the deadline for briefs to be submitted in the case. A decision is expected to follow.

source - NASCAR.COM

#20 Home Depot team not allowed to unload car, Stewart to NASCAR hauler?

I don't know if this is true or not, but his is what is reporting. - Mike Pratt

Sources are informing us that the #20 Home Depot team has not been allowed to unload its Nextel Cup Chevy at Talladega until Tony Stewart meets with NASCAR at the NASCAR hauler.

Stewart make several strong accusations that NASCAR fixes its races.

Word is that NASCAR is fuming over Stewart’s remarks.

Stay tuned for updates.


Catch Ryan Newman’s Practices Today At Talladega

Ryan Newman and his #12 Kodak Dodge will be practicing today for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Newman and the other drivers will have only 2 practices for the Aaron’s 499 before qualifying tomorrow. After Qualifying there will not be another practice.

TODAY – 4/27/07

SPPED - 2:30pm – Practice 1

SPEED – 4:00pm – Final Practice

Obviously the results are not up yet, but the links below will take you to the results once has them posted.

Practice 1 Results

Practice 2 Results

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No ruling yet in AT&T's case against NASCAR

ATLANTA (AP) — Jeff Burton's No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet will bear the familiar Cingular markings for at least two more weeks.

There was no decision Thursday on AT&T's request for an injunction to have its logos placed on Burton's car. Instead, U.S. District Court Judge Marvin H. Shoob listened to almost four hours of arguments from NASCAR, AT&T and Nextel and then set May 7 as the deadline for briefs to be submitted in the case.

At Thursday's preliminary injunction hearing, NASCAR attorneys defended the decision to prevent Cingular — the primary sponsor of the No. 31 car — from changing its branding on the car to the AT&T blue globe.

Cingular merged with AT&T in December, and AT&T is phasing out the Cingular brand.

Sprint Nextel Corp. sponsors NASCAR's premier series, the Nextel Cup, and has exclusive rights as the telecommunications company for the series. The only exceptions are companies, including Cingular, that already sponsored cars when Nextel reached its agreement with NASCAR.

"We have changed our name, but we are the same company as we were before we changed our name," said David Balser, attorney for AT&T Inc.

"Sprint has said the value of its investment would increase if they could drive us out," Balser said to Schoob. "That is what this is about, your honor. Sprint Nextel is trying to use our name change to drive us out of the sport."

NASCAR attorney David Gelfand said AT&T would be welcome to sponsor a car in NASCAR's Busch series or truck racing, but he said Nextel was entitled to exclusivity through its 10-year, $700 million investment that began in 2004.

"Those are the benefits NASCAR is seeking to protect," Gelfand said.

NASCAR president Mike Helton attended the hearing.

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Nextel's investment benefits every racing team.

"NASCAR is defending every driver, team and track involved with NASCAR," Poston said. "The court's ruling will be important to protect the very flexible and open environment that allows for hundreds of sponsors to successfully participate in NASCAR. ... NASCAR will continue to protect the industry in any future attacks on our key partners."


Kodak Returns As Primary Sponsor In NEXTEL Cup Series At Talladega

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 25, 2007) – For the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series, Kodak colors will adorn the hood of the No. 12 car as a primary sponsor, ending the company's 15-month hiatus from NASCAR's top series in that role. This is also the first year Kodak has been a sponsor on the 12 car.

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, will make his 11th start at Talladega Superspeedway and his 197th in the Cup Series this weekend.

Of course, the main concern at Talladega is the same one that exists at every restrictor-plate track -- avoiding the “big one”.

“Like every race at the superspeedways, you have to stay out of trouble,” Newman said. “We’re taking the car that finished third at the Daytona 500 in 2006. We’ll be looking for some people to work with and hopefully, earn a good finish on Sunday without getting caught up in a wreck.”

Newman’s average start at Talladega is 10.8 and his finishing average is 20.9. He has led six races for a total of 25 laps and has completed 1,515 laps of a possible 1,888 for an 80.2 percent completion rate.

“Talladega is a fun track to race at and the race is exciting for everyone, especially the fans,” Newman continued. “One lap you could be fifth and the next lap you might be 25th. You never know what’s going to happen and the winner always seems to emerge at the very end, so it’s a lot of fun to watch.”

Crew chief Mike Nelson and the No. 12 Kodak Dodge team will take chassis PRS-056 as the primary car. The car's third-place finish in the 2006 Daytona 500 occurred after Newman started 18th. The back-up car will be PRS-099, which Newman drove in the 2007 Daytona 500. This car was also used last year at Talladega in May when Newman started 18th and finished 33rd.

The Aaron’s 499 will be broadcast live by FOX and MRN Radio beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

source-penske racing

KODAK Sponsoring Ryan Newman and Team This Weekend

Keep an eye out for that #12 KODAK Dodge this weekend at Talladega. Ryan Newman will be driving the KODAK Dodge car this weekend instead of the Alltel Dodge. So don’t look for blue, you won’t find it. Look for yellow. It really is not a bad looking car. Kodak will be sponsoring Penske Racing’s #12 NASCAR Nextel Cup Dodge 3 times this year. The first will be this week at Talladega for the Aaron’s 499. The next time we will see the KODAK Dodge will be in August for the Walkins Glen race. And finally it will appear again for California Speedways second race of the season in September.

Kodak is also sponsoring the #12 in the Busch series. They have already done Bristol (Newman came in 4th) and Phoenix (Newman came in 36th). Their other five Busch Series events will be – in order – Darlington, Chicago, Watkins Glen, California and Richmond.

By the Numbers: Talladega

Have your facts straight for a free TrackPass weekend

April 26, 2007
11:32 AM EDT

By the Numbers teams with TrackPass this week to bring the fans closer to the action at Talladega. NASCAR.COM is offering a free TrackPass weekend and exclusive access to a wide variety of live features that get you on the track and in the race.

If you have never taken advantage of TrackPass, here's your chance. In case you don't know what you're missing, here's a BTN sample.

Interesting Fact

4 Number of applications available with TrackPass: PitCommand, RaceView, Scanner and Radio Broadcast.

Fun Fact
2x Sign up by May 5 and earn double RacePoints.

TrackPass Facts

3 Virtual camera angles available with RaceView: Lead View, Flyover View and Draft View.
3 Monitor LIVE timing, scoring and telemetry with PitCommand.
4 Number of events that can be heard this week on MRN's Radio Broadcast. Listen to Cup qualifying, as well as all three series races.
14 Enjoy a two-week free time trial.
43 Listen to in-car audio for every driver with Scanner.

To get you ready for the weekend, By the Numbers takes a look at all 52 drivers on the Entry List for the Aaron's 499. Going by car number, BTN offers a fact about that driver at Talladega, and follows with another about his season to date.

Driver Facts

00 David Reutimann has only one career start at Talladega, finishing sixth last year in a Craftsman Truck Series race. He crashed and finished 40th this season at Daytona, his only superspeedway start in a Cup car.
01 Regan Smith has only one career start at Talladega, finishing 37th last year in a Busch Series race. Smith will be making just his third Cup Series start of his career.
1 Martin Truex Jr. finished fifth this past October after DNFs in each of his first three Talladega starts. Truex has two top-10s this season.
2 Kurt Busch has five consecutive top-10 finishes at Talladega, including seventh and third in two races last year, his first with Penske. Busch has only one top-10 this season.
4 Ward Burton finished fourth in October, his best result in 19 starts at Talladega. Burton has qualified for only three races this season.
5 Kyle Busch has made four starts at Talladega, his second-most of any track without a top-10. Busch has five top-10s this season and is sixth in points.
6 David Ragan has only one career start at Talladega, finishing seventh last year in a Craftsman Truck Series race. Smith opened the season with a fifth-place run at Daytona, his first Cup start at a superspeedway.
07 Clint Bowyer crashed in both Talladega races last year, his first at the track. Bowyer has three top-10s this season and is ninth in points.
7 Robby Gordon went seven years between his first Talladega start in 1993 and next one. Gordon finished 15th at Daytona, his best result of the season.
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. has eight top-10s at Talladega, all of which came consecutively from the October 2001 through October 2004. Junior's only two top-10s this season have come on the short tracks of Bristol and Martinsville.
09 Mike Wallace finished ninth in April 2001, his best result in 15 Talladega starts. Wallace finished fourth at Daytona, his only start this season.
9 Kasey Kahne finished second this past October, but has a 22.5 average in six starts at Talladega. Kahne finished seventh in the season-opener at Daytona, but hasn't been better than 19th since.
10 Scott Riggs finished sixth last April at Talladega, his only top-10 in six starts. Riggs has only one top-10 this season and a 31.5 average finish.
11 Denny Hamlin finished 22nd and 21st in his first two Talladega starts, leading one lap in each race last year. Hamlin is riding three consecutive top-10s and is fifth in points.
12 Ryan Newman made only three laps before crashing in April 2003, the shortest race of his career. Newman has a 25.5 average finish this season.
13 Joe Nemechek has three poles at Talladega, more than any other track. Nemechek opened the year with a ninth-place run at Daytona, his only top-10 this season.
14 Sterling Marlin has two wins and 17 top-10s at Talladega, third-highest of any track. Marlin has a career-best 21 top-10s at Daytona. Marlin finished 17th at Daytona this year, his only top-20 run of the season.
15 Paul Menard was 15 laps from the finish in his Talladega debut this past October when a crash sent him to the garage and a 34th-place finish. Menard has completed all but 10 laps this season.
16 Greg Biffle failed to finish in either of his two Talladega starts last year. Biffle has led only two laps this season.
17 Matt Kenseth has three consecutive top-10 runs at Talladega, his worst finish during that span sixth last April. Kenseth is third in points, with a win, five top-fives and six top-10s this season.
18 J.J. Yeley led one lap in each of his first two Talladega starts, but crashed his last time out in his third appearance this past October. Yeley finished a season-best 12th at Daytona.
19 Elliott Sadler finished 29th in his first Talladega start in the 19 car. Sadler has one top-10 this season, a sixth-place finish at Daytona.
20 Tony Stewart has finished second at Talladega six times. Stewart has finished second twice this season, at Atlanta and Phoenix.
21 Ken Schrader won his first career race at Talladega in 1988, driving for Rick Hendrick. Schrader has finished better than 28th just once in seven starts this season.
22 Dave Blaney has led one lap in 13 career starts at Talladega. Blaney has led one lap this season.
24 Jeff Gordon has four victories, and has finished in the top-10 in half of his 28 Talladega starts. Gordon leads the points this season with an average finish of 4.5 in eight starts.
25 Casey Mears finished eighth in both 2004 races at Talladega. Mears has only one top-10 in his first season with Hendrick.
26 Jamie McMurray has finished fifth in the past two April races at Talladega. McMurray finished a season-best fifth at Texas, but has top-10s in half of his eight starts this year.
29 Kevin Harvick has six top-10s in his past eight starts at Talladega. Harvick posted his first superspeedway victory this year at Daytona.
31 Jeff Burton finished fourth last April at Talladega, his best result there since a third-place run in October 2001. Burton is second in points this season, with a victory, five top-fives and six top-10s.
34 Kevin Lepage has one top-10 in 10 starts at Talladega. Lepage doesn’t have a Cup start in 2007.
36 Jeremy Mayfield finished fourth in April 2005, his best result in 24 Talladega starts. Mayfield has qualified for only two starts this season, both on the short tracks of Bristol and Martinsville.
37 John Andretti has scored four of his 37 career top-10s at Talladega, including his first in 1996 driving the 37 car. Andretti has made only one start this season.
38 David Gilliland earned his first career pole at Talladega this past October and finished 15th in his first start there. Gilliland started from the pole this year at Daytona and finished eighth on the superspeedway.
40 David Stremme finished 34th and 33rd with a crash in his two Talladega starts as a rookie last year. Stremme opened the season with an 11th-place run at Daytona and posted his first career top-10 with a 10th-place showing at Texas.
41 Reed Sorenson failed to finish in either of his first two Talladega starts with a crash and engine failure hampering his rookie efforts last year. Sorenson opened the year by finishing 13th at Daytona and has a season-best ninth at Atlanta.
42 Juan Montoya finish third this past October in an ARCA race at Talladega, his first in a stock car. Montoya has one top-five and two top-10s in his rookie season in Cup.
43 Bobby Labonte won his only Talladega race from the pole in April 1998, and is the last driver to win from the inside of front row. Labonte finished eighth at Phoenix, his best of the season.
44 Dale Jarrett is the last driver to win at Talladega in something other than a Chevrolet. Jarrett won in October 1998 and again in October 2005, his last Cup victory. Jarrett is the only Toyota to compete in all eight races this season, but has needed the past champion's provisional five times.
45 Kyle Petty has 19 top-10s at Talladega, more than any other track. Petty has only one top-20 finish this season.48Jimmie Johnson has five DNFs in 10 Talladega starts, but won there last April. Johnson has three victories this season and is fourth in points.
49 Mike Bliss has one top-10 in five career starts at Talladega. Bliss has made four starts this year, with a season-best 17th at Bristol.
55 Michael Waltrip has one win at Talladega, and in 42 starts has a near identical 19.4 average start and 19.3 average finish. Waltrip has failed to qualify in seven consecutive races this season.
60 Boris Said started 12th but crashed in his only Talladega start, in April 2005. Said finished 14th at Daytona, his only start this year.
66 Jeff Green finished 14th and seventh in his two starts at Talladega last year, his first in the No. 66. Green has two sixth-place finishes this season, at Bristol and Phoenix.
70 Johnny Sauter has finished 14th and 16th in his only two Talladega starts, in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Sauter finished ninth at Phoenix, his first top-10 of the season and second of his career.
78 Kenny Wallace finished second at Talladega in October 2000, his only top-10 that season in 34 starts. Wallace has made four starts this season, with two DNFs.
83 Brian Vickers won his first career race at Talladega this past October, which also was his second consecutive top-five and third consecutive top-10. Vickers gave Toyota its only top-10 finish of the season with a 10th at California, but he has qualified for only four races.
84 A.J. Allmendinger has only one career start at Talladega, finishing fifth last year in a Craftsman Truck Series race. Allmendinger has qualified for just two races this season on the short tracks of Bristol and Martinsville.
88 Ricky Rudd has made 58 starts at Talladega, more than any current driver. Rudd’s best finish this season is 13th at Martinsville. He hasn’t finished better than 26 in any other race.
96 Tony Raines has a 21.2 average finish in five starts at Talladega. Raines is 21st in driver points this season.
99 Carl Edwards has three consecutive top-10 finishes at Talladega. Edwards have finished 12th or better in five of the past six races this season.

Some of Ryan Newman’s More In Depth Stats

I am listing some of Ryan Newman’s more in-depth stats form I am going to start keeping better track of these stats and updating all of it regularly or at least when there is big changes.

BOX SCORE – (Some of this information is already posted in my table at the top of the page!) Newman hs and Average start of 20.0 and an average finish of 25.5 (how appropriate that he is in 26th position). is reporting that Newman has an average running position of 19.7 Newman has led 2 laps this year and completed 2596 laps leaving him with a rating of 71.2.

AVERAGE RUNNING POSITION – They have Newman listed with 8 starts this season and an average running position of 19.667.

DRIVER RATING - Newmans current driving rating is ranked 18th at 71.2 with a high this season of 89.9. Gordon is in 1st with a rating of 115.2 and last (ranked at least) is Dale Jarret in 39th with a rating of 38.

CLOSERS – This section is for the highest Average Spots Gained and the highest Positions Moved Up. With Newman’s season so far, he is not on this list. All of us Ryan Newman #12 Alltel Dodge Fans are really hoping that he starts making this list and then gets to the top of it!

MILE LEADERS – Newman does make this list with 4 miles. He is 22nd on the list.

LAPS LED SINCE LAST WIN – Newman comes in 18th on this list. He has had 53 races without a win. Out of those 53 races Ryan has led 245 laps. His last win was 09/18/2005.

LAPS RUN ON LEAD LAP – Out of a possible 2694 laps, Newman and his #12 Alltel Dodge have been on the lead lap for 1763 laps (ouch). This equals out to 65.44% of the laps giving him a ranking of 19th. Burton holds the top spot at 99.74% and 10th goes to Bowyer at 85.60%.

QUALITY PASSES – Newman is tied with Mark Martin in 16th place for quality passed. He and Martin have both made 276 quality passes compared to Jeff Burton who leads this category at 489 quality passes.

CONSECUTIVE LAPS WITH A PASS – Ryan is tied twice with 21 others in 16th position. In both the Auto Club 500 (02/25/2007) and the UAW-DaimlerCh-rysler 400 (03/11/2007) Newman had 8 consecutive laps with passes. 1st in the category is Kevin Harvick with 15.

CONSECUTIVE PASSES – Newman did not make this list, but his team mate Kurt Busch is 1st on the list with 39 consecutive passes and last place at 23rd goes to Jonny Sauter (and others who are tied) with 26 consecutive passes.

PASSES IN FRONTSTRETCH - Newman comes in 29th here (again tied with Martin) with 131 frontstretch passes.

PASSES IN THE BACKSTRETCH – Compared to everyone else, Newman must like passing in the backstretch. He only has 88 here, but is 13th on the list.

FASTEST EARLY IN RUN – Newman is listed 26th here (how appropriate – he is 26th in points) with an average rank of 20.6 (tied with Sauter) and a high ranking of 14th.

TIME TRAINLING AT FINSH – Newman is so far back, that he is not on this list (not good). Gordon heads it up trailing 24.184 and Dale Jarrett is at the bottom of the list in 28th behind 813.801 seconds.

There are a couple of things that really stick out to me. “Laps run on lead lap” is one of them. This really hurts. Newman has only been on the lead lap for 65% of the laps. That really hurts, but also explains his 26th position in points.

The other on that sticks out to me is “Laps Led Since Last Win”. 245 laps led in 53 races does not sound real impressive to me. What is even more disappointing is the “53 races since a win”.

Mike Pratt

Ryan Newman to race in Tony Stewarts Nextel Prelude to the Dream

Nextel Prelude to the Dream Entry List Announced: Stewart, Gordon, & Montoya Highlight List

ROSSBURG, Ohio – Eldora Speedway’s much heralded Nextel Prelude to the Dream has gained even more momentum with this week’s announcement of the participating talent, which will feature a lineup of no less than five former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions.

Eldora’s owner, Tony Stewart, has announced that this year’s edition will take place on Wednesday, June 6. It will again be sandwiched between the June 2 World of Outlaws Built by The Home Depot event and the $100,000 to win Dirt Late Model Dream June 8-9.

Following the successful and highly popular format used each of the past two years, Stewart will welcome many of his Nextel Cup brethren and other racing notables for an evening of dirt track competition on the nationally recognized half mile clay oval. The talent will again be placed behind the wheel of fast and powerful Late Model race cars.

Headlining that list and making his first return to the dirt surfaced Eldora oval since 1991 is four-time Nextel Cup champion Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. In that visit to Eldora 16 years ago Gordon left victorious, as he won the Midget portion of the USAC Four Crown Nationals.

Stewart, with his long history of dirt track accomplishments – including last year’s Nextel Prelude trophy – will join Gordon as a former Nextel Cup champion. Recognized for his prowess behind the wheel of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart will have to fend off the challenges from the impressive roster of drivers that includes a mixed bag of dirt track experience. Some of the drivers have Eldora roots, some are Nextel Prelude returnees and others will be on the Eldora high banks for the very first time.

Rounding out the list of former Cup Series champions who will compete in the Nextel Prelude to the Dream are Matt Kenseth (2003), Bobby Labonte (2000) and Bill Elliott (1988).

With impressive credentials as the 2005 Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year, Kasey Kahne will join this year’s mix of drivers. And while new to the event, Kahne is not new to Eldora. He has a 2003 All Star Sprint victory at Eldora on his ever-expanding resume. Also joining the Nextel Prelude field and making their Eldora debuts will be Juan Pablo Montoya, Clint Bowyer, Ray Everham, and Kyle Busch.

Also in the fold is inaugural Nextel Prelude to the Dream winner Kenny Wallace, veteran dirt racers Ken Schrader and Dave Blaney, and Nextel Prelude returnees Mark Martin, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Mike Wallace, Ryan Newman, JJ Yeley, Kyle Petty, Denny Hamlin, the ageless Red Farmer and drag racing standout Ron Capps.

Wearing his proverbial track owner hat, Stewart beams with pride when he reflects upon this event.

“The Eldora legacy is to go above and beyond for its loyal fans. The Nextel Prelude to the Dream carries on that tradition. Nextel has returned to partner with us, and with some of the best race car drivers in the world competing on the hallowed dirt of Eldora, it promises to be another memorable night.”

Stewart, hinting at even greater news in the coming weeks, stated, “Stay turned for a huge event-related announcement in a couple weeks and a list of additional star attendees.”

Tickets for the 2007 Nextel Prelude to the Dream, which sold out each of the past two years, are now available online at or by calling the track office (937) 338-3815.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Ryan Newman Podcast - Post Phoenix

Newman, Alltel Team start 19 and finish 38 after a promising run at Phoenix International Raceway

Driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Ryan Newman and XM Satellite Radio Host Claire B. Lang discuss last week's NASCAR Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, specifically the pit road incident that put a damper on what looked like a top-five finish.

They chat about the many problems the Dodge teams are facing this year, Newman's favorite movies, as well as answer questions from the Alltel All Axcess Racing Mailbag. Finally, Newman talks about the upcoming race at the infamous and sometimes unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway.



Talladega: Ryan Newman preview

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 25, 2007) -- For the first time in the NASCAR Cup Series, Kodak colors will adorn the hood of the No. 12 car as a primary sponsor, ending the company's 15-month hiatus from NASCAR's top series in that role. This is also the first year Kodak has been a sponsor on the 12 car.

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, will make his 11th start at Talladega Superspeedway and his 197th in the Cup Series this weekend.

Of course, the main concern at Talladega is the same one that exists at every restrictor-plate track -- avoiding the "big one".

"Like every race at the superspeedways, you have to stay out of trouble," Newman said. "We're taking the car that finished third at the Daytona 500 in 2006. We'll be looking for some people to work with and hopefully, earn a good finish on Sunday without getting caught up in a wreck."

Newman's average start at Talladega is 10.8 and his finishing average is 20.9. He has led six races for a total of 25 laps and has completed 1,515 laps of a possible 1,888 for an 80.2 percent completion rate.

"Talladega is a fun track to race at and the race is exciting for everyone, especially the fans," Newman continued. "One lap you could be fifth and the next lap you might be 25th. You never know what's going to happen and the winner always seems to emerge at the very end, so it's a lot of fun to watch."

Crew chief Mike Nelson and the No. 12 Kodak Dodge team will take chassis PRS-056 as the primary car. The car's third-place finish in the 2006 Daytona 500 occurred after Newman started 18th. The back-up car will be PRS-099, which Newman drove in the 2007 Daytona 500. This car was also used last year at Talladega in May when Newman started 18th and finished 33rd.

The Aaron's 499 will be broadcast live by FOX and MRN Radio beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.


Tony Stewart accuses NASCAR of 'playing God'

---MY HTOUGHTS--- To a degree I have to agree with Stewart. I think there are way to many cautions. Obviously if there is a wreck or oil on the track that is one thing, but it seems like a caution gets thrown, towards the end almost everytime.

I don't even like seeing wrecks anymore. Well.....they are kind of cool to see, but overall I am watching NASCAR to see some good racing and to TRY and pay attention to strategies and what not. The last thing I want to see is a caution.

Now that Tony has spoke, I would not be suprised if we start seeing every little piece of debris on TV. "There's a McDonalds french fry on the track, 30 laps to go, lets throw the caution for debris." How come a debris caution NEVER comes in "overtime"?

Story -
By Nate Ryan, USA TODAY
Two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart accused NASCAR of "playing God" by using caution flags to orchestrate closer racing.

During his Tony Stewart Live program Tuesday night on Sirius Satellite Radio, Stewart lambasted officials for throwing four yellow flags for debris during Saturday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Stewart didn't feel any of the caution periods were warranted, implying NASCAR intentionally was trying to bunch up the field by slowing the pace of the racing.

"To me it's not all about the money, it's about the integrity of the sport, and when I feel our own sanctioning body isn't taking care of that, it's hard to support them and feel proud about being a driver in the Nextel Cup Series when they're throwing debris cautions," he said. "It's like playing God. They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It's happened too many times this year. You get so frustrated ... But enough of it's gone on that fans are writing in and talking about it.

"At what point does NASCAR get the hint? I guess NASCAR thinks, 'hey wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too.' "

SPORTS SCOPE: Listen to Stewart's comments

NASCAR officials had no immediate reaction Wednesday to Stewart's remarks.

Stewart was particularly displeased with a debris yellow that occurred as he was catching Kevin Harvick for the lead because "I was coming so fast, it was inevitable I was going to get around those guys, so NASCAR throws a debris caution ... I thought racing was about being better than the other guys."

The 35-year-old led a race-high 132 laps but finished second after falling behind winner Jeff Gordon when he pitted during the final yellow, which came for a three-car crash involving Dave Blaney, Kenny Wallace and J.J. Yeley.

"That was only the second legitimate caution we had all day," Stewart said. "I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR," he said. "I don't know that they've run a fair race all year."

NASCAR has thrown 20 debris cautions in nine races this season, and finishes seemingly have been affected at least twice. At California Speedway in February, Jimmie Johnson was leading comfortably when a late debris caution eliminated his margin. After finishing third to Matt Kenseth, Johnson and runner-up Jeff Gordon both said he never saw any debris on the track to cause the yellow.

Two weeks later at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Stewart was leading when a debris yellow flew with 25 laps to go. After a round of pit stops, Johnson passed Stewart for the win with three laps remaining.

Stewart said the debris cautions were the reason he didn't address the media after the Phoenix race.

"The aggravation for me was I didn't want to go in the media center and bash NASCAR," he said. "I don't mind doing it on my own radio show. Anyone who thinks this debris caution stuff is the right direction for NASCAR, I think you're crazy."

NASCAR requires its top-three finishers to do interviews on pit road and the media center, but Stewart said it wasn't his obligation to comply. He's not expected to be penalized.

"The thing with the media is they think it's our obligation to do those things," Stewart said. "It's a privilege that they get to (talk to us). That's the way it's always been. Maybe it is in some of these other guys' contracts, but it is not in my contract that says I have to go do any interviews after the race is over."

Stewart, who was battling a 100-degree fever Tuesday and left the two-hour program before its conclusion because he felt so ill, also took issue with fans who were upset that Gordon chose to carry a No. 3 flag on his victory lap. Gordon was saluting the late Dale Earnhardt after tying him on NASCAR's all-time win list with his 76th victory.

Some fans threw trash at Gordon's car during the tribute.

"Absolutely, it was a class act," Stewart said of Gordon's homage to the seven-time champion. "You're celebrating Dale's career. I was unaware that fans were throwing things on the track (before Tuesday's show). That really disgusts me about being a NASCAR driver. It makes me almost ashamed at times that a few bad eggs ruin it for everybody. If you want to throw stuff, go in your backyard and throw stuff at each other and save the kids play for home."

source - USA Today

AT&T lawsuit could take power from NASCAR

By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM
April 25, 2007
12:41 PM EDT

On Thursday in an Atlanta courtroom, a federal judge will begin the process of sifting through documents that will ultimately determine whether AT&T has a valid argument in its lawsuit against NASCAR over exclusivity rights for the sanctioning body's entitlement sponsor.

But what's at stake is more than logos and paint schemes. What currently exists as a "gray area" in NASCAR's driver-owner agreement would suddenly become black and white -- and NASCAR officials say could negatively affect every team in the garage, no matter which side wins.

"There are three categories that are essential to the industry," said Ramsey Poston, NASCAR's managing director of corporate communications. "One is the title sponsorship: Nextel, Busch, and Craftsman. The other is the tire manufacturer and the other is the fuel supplier.

"If those categories are damaged, then there could be a ripple effect that ultimately hurts the drivers and teams. We think it's very important to protect those three categories that benefit everybody in the sport. That's why everyone in this garage ought to be rallying around NASCAR's position and fighting to maintain the status quo because it benefits everybody."

Unlike most sports leagues, NASCAR does not operate under a franchise system. Instead, teams are independently owned, having to negotiate their own sponsorship agreements. Those sometimes come in conflict with NASCAR's own sponsorship deals, as in the case of Sprint/Nextel and AT&T.

When Nextel signed on as entitlement sponsor of NASCAR's premier series in 2003, Cingular and Alltel were given exemptions. That's the crux of the argument set forth by AT&T.

"There is nothing in our contract that prevents us from changing the Cingular brand name to our new brand, AT&T, on the No. 31 car," said John Burbank, AT&T's vice president of marketing. "Cingular's grandfather clause, which was provided to us by NASCAR before we signed our agreement with Richard Childress Racing, states we can continue as a sponsor as long as we do not increase our brand position on the vehicle we sponsor and do not move to a different race team. What could be clearer?"

So what are the long-term implications? If AT&T wins, Nextel loses much of its exclusivity as an entitlement sponsor. NASCAR and Nextel have never made specifics of their 10-year agreement public, but industry insiders say the contract -- estimated at between $70 and $75 million annually -- may actually be a five-year deal with an option to renew.

If that's the case, Nextel could opt out at the end of 2008, which would be detrimental to the sport, according to Poston.

"Nextel spends a huge amount of money to support the Series including the points fund, the marketing, and all the advertising," Poston said. "If that goes away, it will have a direct negative effect on the drivers, teams and tracks in the Series."

On the other hand, if NASCAR's defense is successful, not only does Childress potentially lose a primary sponsor that has claimed to have spent more $100 million since 2001, but other teams could suddenly find themselves as targets.

Sponsors that currently exist somewhat peacefully under the status quo may decide to follow suit, literally. If entitlement sponsors have broad exclusivity, it stands to reason that official sponsors could conceivably force their competition out of the industry.

"Today's environment is incredibly flexible, it's a sponsor nirvana," Poston said. "That's why we're able to have so many competing sponsors be successful in this sport. We work with the teams to make sponsorships work. The reason Cingular and Alltel are in this sport is because we went to bat for them.

"Today we have over 100 of the Fortune 500 companies successfully participating in the sport. We think that's an incredibly positive feat for everybody."

And NASCAR's ability to police disputes would be severely limited, Poston believes.

"Our hands then are potentially tied," he said. "Everything could be more black and white. The driver-owner agreement could change and there could be less competition.

"And you might get to the situation like you have in the NFL, where if you wear the wrong baseball hat during the Super Bowl, you get fined a $100,000. That's not a good environment for our drivers and our teams."

For now, the Childress camp remains quiet, saying "at this time, the lawsuit is in the hands of NASCAR and AT&T."

Poston said it was never NASCAR's intent to get involved in a contentious conflict between two corporations battling over market share. However, with so much at stake, NASCAR must defend its ability to govern as a sanctioning body.

"There are very few places where we have to draw the line, but this is one of them," he said.

"We're also responsible for creating an environment where everybody wins. Brian France says in order for this sport to grow, drivers, teams and tracks have to win. Right now, everybody's winning."

source -

Current Dodge Points Standings

Nextel Cup
2007 Dodge Team Standings


Kurt Busch 13

Juan Pablo Montoya 16

Elliott Sadler 17

David Stremme 18

Bobby Labonte 19

Ryan Newman 26

Reed Sorenson 27

Kasey Kahne 33

Kyle Petty 34

Scott Riggs 37

Dodge Drivers Results - Phoenix

Dodge Team Results - Phoenix International Raceway - Avondale, AZ


Bobby Labonte 8

Reed Sorenson 15

Kurt Busch 18

Kyle Petty 30

Kasey Kahne 31

Juan Pablo Montoya 33

Elliott Sadler 34

Ryan Newman 38

Scott Riggs 42

David Stremme 43

Noting Newman - April 23, 2007

I did not realize that Ryan Newman will be in the #12 KODAK Dodge this weekend.

The following is from

-- The Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway will be Ryan Newman’s first NASCAR Cup race in the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger. This will be Newman’s 11th start at the 2.66-mile track and his 197th in the Cup Series.

-- Newman has an average start of 10.8 and an average finish of 20.9 at Talladega.

-- Newman has led six races for a total of 25 laps. He has completed 1,515 laps of a possible 1,888 for an 80.2 percent completion rate.

-- The No. 12 team is using chassis PRS-056 as its primary car this weekend. It ran in the 2006 Daytona 500 and finished third after starting 18th. The backup car is PRS-099. It was driven by Newman in the 2007 Daytona 500. This car was also used last year at Talladega in May; Newman started 18th and finished 33rd.

Newman On Talladega: “Like every race at the superspeedways, you have to stay out of trouble. We’re taking the car that finished third at the Daytona 500 in 2006. We’ll be looking for some people to work with and hopefully, earn a good finish on Sunday without getting caught up in a wreck.”

Newman, Kodak keep the faith

James Johnson
Staff writer

(April 25, 2007) — Wedged into 26th place in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points standings, Ryan Newman can still manage to smile.

One top-10 finish and no wins are not what Newman had in mind for results six races into the 36-event Cup season. He already trails leader Jeff Gordon by 621 points.

Newman needs a surge to qualify for the 10-race playoff series, but he can't mash the gas to make up ground quickly. That will only come with time.

"I was disappointed about the fact of where we finished,'' Newman said about his 38th-place finish in the Penske Racing No. 12 Dodge last Saturday in Phoenix.

"I really wasn't mad about the whole situation. I've been in this sport for seven years now, and I've never seen anything crazy like that happen all at once.''

Newman smiled as he retold the story Tuesday morning during an appearance at Eastman Kodak's Digital Printing Solutions Center on Manitou Road.

Less than thrilled with his qualifying draw, Newman began the race from the 19th starting position. He drove up to fifth-place twice, and felt a good finish was ahead as he pitted under a green flag late in the race.

"As soon as we got the right side of the car jacked up, the yellow (caution) flag came out," Newman said. "The ideal thing would have been to finish the stop or leave the pits. We had a miscommunication.

"I thought they were going to do two tires, (but) the front-tire changer came around and took the left front tire off. Basically, about four things happened in about 3.8 seconds that were worst-case scenarios."

Just like that, Newman's chances to win his first points race since the 2005 season was gone.

"I was extremely happy that we had a fast car," Newman said. "It was a situation where we took the positives out of it, forgot about the negatives, learn from them obviously, but move on.

"After 36 races, you kind of create your own luck. If the next three or four are bad, then yeah, we need to look at something. But I think it's just a bad set of circumstances the last two weeks. We can carry on."

It won't be easy to make headway.

Newman, a 12-time winner and the series' Rookie of the Year in 2002, is not the only big-name down in the standings.

Kasey Kahne, a six-time winner in 2006, is five spots behind Newman. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is in better shape, nevertheless is 15th.

And Michael Waltrip's Toyota-sponsored teams, including the car driven by former champion Dale Jarrett, have sputtered from the start.

While Newman is not among the standings leaders, Kodak, an associate sponsor of Penske Racing, is happy with the 29-year-old driver.

"He's giving us the exposure that we want," company spokesman David Kassnoff said. "He was very strong in Phoenix, but he's also a great ambassador for the sport."

Newman's car will have Kodak's red and yellow as its primary colors this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. It's part of a three-race arrangement that includes races at Watkins Glen International and California Speedway.

Newman said he is optimistic before the team heads to Alabama.

"At Texas, we had a similar situation to what (teammate) Kurt Busch had," Newman said. "If it wasn't for a fuel mileage situation, he would've won the race. I can say the same thing about Phoenix.

"The last two races we were there, fully capable of being a winning race car and we had some crazy circumstances take us out of that chance. If we just keep our chin up, we'll be fine."


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Earnhardt Jr.: Gordon showed respect with No. 3 flag

MY INPUT - As always, Dale Earnhardt JR is a class act. And to tell you the truth, I have to agree with him in that I don't see the big deal or controversy except that no likes Jeff (me included). Anyway the story follows.

Earnhardt Jr.: Gordon showed respect with No. 3 flag

CONCORD, N.C. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Tuesday he couldn't understand the negative reaction Jeff Gordon has been getting for flying a flag bearing Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 after winning Saturday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Gordon's victory was his 76th win, tying him for sixth with Earnhardt on NASCAR's all-time win list. Immediately after the race, Gordon stopped on the frontstretch and was handed a No. 3 flag, which then flew from his car as he did a victory lap.

"I don't understand the disrespect - what's the angle there?" Earnhardt Jr. said at an appearance at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Basically, when you win a race, it's all about you at that moment. You won, you're happy, you're excited, you're the best of the best. And he decided to split that down the middle, 50/50, and give my father some respect and take half of his moment and give it to my dad. I thought that was really classy."

The flag was the brainchild of Aaron Kuehn, a crewman for Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports team. Kuehn approached Earnhardt Jr. at Junior's birthday party last year to ask him and sister Kelley Earnhardt Elledge for approval, which they promptly gave.

Earnhardt Jr. said Tuesday he had forgotten about Kuehn's request - "It was a good party," Earnhardt Jr. said - but still appreciated the gesture.

"They obviously had that planned," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Jeff's been in this sport a long time and knows good and well that acknowledgement and respect is a big deal. If you think about it, that flag rode around in that truck for several months - which my dad would get a real kick about that. The planned that. For them to do that and to take that effort, it was really nice."
Earnhardt Jr. went to victory lane to say thanks to Gordon.

"I could've cared less who won that race that night," Earnhardt Jr. said. "My car was bad - that's why I could've cared less. But when I pulled in the garage and saw Jeff doing that on the big screen, I just wanted to make sure that on this side of the fence and with me that it was really cool and appreciated.

"My dad, he was a big deal to this sport. For him to continue to get recognized on down the road is a big deal to me and pretty important, so I appreciated that."

And for some to not appreciate it makes no sense, Earnhardt Jr. said.

"I don't know how in the world you could take that the wrong way," Earnhardt Jr. said. "That's what's bothering me so bad. Jeff can't win for losing. ... That's unfortunate. He was trying to make a good gesture. That's all that was. I don't think anybody in the world could find anything wrong with what he did. That's a shame he didn't get all the credit he deserved for it."


Tailgating: Talladega

Talladega Superspeedway is over-the-top excitement -- on and off the track. Plan ahead to stay on property in one of the track's hundreds of acres of overnight parks, and a fun and carefree weekend will be your payoff.

Getting there
From the east via I-20: Exit 173 (Eastaboga) and proceed west on Speedway Blvd. Parking lots 4N-7N and 1E-4E will provide the easiest exiting. Parking lots 1W-4W will also provide good parking, but it's a little longer in exiting (good if your seats are near Turn 4).

From the west via I-20: Exit 168 (Lincoln/Talladega.) Take State Hwy. 77 south. Then go east on Speedway Blvd. Parking lots 8W-11W and 1N and 4N will provide the easiest exiting. Lots 5W and 6W would also provide good parking, but takes a little longer in exiting (good if you're seats are near Turn 1).

Some other roads that run north and south: Hwy. 431, Hwy. 77, county roads 97, 399, 423 and 97. Some other roads that run east and west: Hwy. 78/4, Hwy. 202, county roads 374 and 354.

What to bring
Each guest is allowed to bring into Talladega superspeedway:
• One 6"x6"x12" or smaller soft-sided cooler or insulated bag
• One clear plastic bag (18"x18"x4"or smaller). No ice allowed in clear plastic bags
• Items such as binoculars, radio scanners, cameras and seat cushions carried or on a belt

Parking and camping
Day parking is free on speedway property. Because Talladega is suge a large track, it is important to plan where you park. If you are coming from the east and your seats are in Turn 4, you do not want to go past the speedway and park in a lot outside of Turn 1. If you do, you will have to hike a long distance to your seat after sitting in traffic.

NASCAR testing notes

Ryan Newman is scheduled to test at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), a road course, on Wednesday, April 25th.


Recent Ryan Newman Interviews - FoxSports and NASCAR NOW

This is a video clip of Newman talking on Newman is his usual laid back self and does a great job answering the questions. He talks about NASCAR, Talladega and bass fishing. Turing the “Think Fast” segment of the interview, Newman says his favorite band is the Dave Mathews Band, favorite track is Darlington, favorite movie is Water Boy and his favorite food is pizza.

I had an opportunity to watch NASCAR now Monday night and got to see the Ryan Newman interview. I liked what Newman had to say on a variety of subjects. One of the key items I thought was when Newman was talking about him and the Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge NASCAR Nextel Cup’s team luck. He pointed out all the “bad luck” that they have had and he was right.

Obviously, most recently was the caution and pit mishap that took place at Phoenix International Speedway’s Subway Fresh 500. That caution put Newman at least a lap down and then their pit mishap but them 11 laps down. Then back to Daytona where Newman was having a pretty good run and then ended up with a hole in his radiator which led to engine trouble. Then there was Texas where Newman got into the back of a couple of cars that were involved in an accident, ruining the handling of his car. Then there was Atlanta where the Rocket man got his first pole of the season and then the engine blew forcing them to start at the rear of the field. That is a lot of “then there was” for Newman and his #12 Alltel Dodge. But that sums up how his “luck” luck has been this year.

Newman and his crew do need a change of luck. Hopefully they can start getting it turned around. Newman is a great guy and I believe they have a great team. They just have a case of “bad mojo” right now. Newman proved in Saturday nights race at Phoenix that they have a pretty good COT car and seem to be on top of that program. His record is not really reflecting it, but they have had good “old” cars as well.

I really hope Ryan Newman and his #12 Alltel Dodge Team can start doing better this week at Talladega.

In both interviews Newman also refers to Alltel’s promotion where you could win $500,000 and a variety of other cool prizes. So check that out here- MyCircle500. Interview

Hopefully I can get my hands on the NASCAR NOW interview as well.

Mike Pratt

Monday, April 23, 2007

Phoenix race earns 4.1 overnight rating

Fox's broadcast of Saturday night's Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway garnered the highest overnight rating of any weekend sports broadcast, earning a 4.1 and an 8 market share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.

The 4.1 rating matched the overnight figure of 2006, when the race earned a 7 market share.

The Daily also reports that final Nielsen figures for the April 15 Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway show that Fox earned a 5.6/14, with the rating up 3.7 percent over 2006's 5.4/13.


Ryan Newman and the Talladega Superspeedway

NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series and Ryan Newman are headed to Talladega,AL where Newman and 42 other drivers will battle in the Arrons 499. This is one of my personal favorites!

Talladega Superspeedway was completed in 1969 and is a Tri-oval that seats 143231. The Frontstretch is 4300 feet long and the Backstretch is 4000 feet long. There is 33° banking in all the turns with 16.5° banking in the Frontstretch and 2° banking in the Backstretch

Talladega Superspeedway has a Nextel Cup track record of 188.354 that was set by Mark Martin on 1997.

Out of the last 14 races at Talladega Superspeedway Ford has won 1, Chevrolet has won 13and Dodge has won 0.

Ryan Newman's Record at Talladega Superspeedway is ok. He has raced here 10 times with 0 wins, 0 poles, 2 top 5's and 3 top 10 finishes. Newman has an average start here of 10.8 and an average finish of.20.9 His best finishes at Talladega Superspeedway include 4th(2) and 7th while his worst finishes include 39th(2) and 43rd.

Ryan Newman's record at Superspeeday's is not the greatest. Out of 26 races at Superspeedways, Newman has 0 wins, 4 Top 5's and 7 Top 10's. Newman's average start at Superspeedways is 15.5 and his average finish is 19.2.
Good luck to Ryan Newman and the Penske Racings #12 Alltel Dodge NASCAR Nextel Cup Team at Talladega Superspeedway for the Arrons 499!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Talladega Superspeedway

Mike Pratt

Ryan Newman saw a top-five finish fade away after a pit road incident

This Week’s Top 10 Tums Moments Puts Tony Stewart at the Head of the Heartburn Poll

PITTSBURGH, (April 23, 2007) – The eighth stop of the 2007 season at Phoenix International Raceway once again had the stars of the Nextel Cup Series experiencing several indigestion-causing incidents, from inconvenient cautions to multiple car crashes. Each weekend, PRN lead anchor Doug Rice picks the Top 10 TUMS Moments from that week’s racing activities. For the eighth week of the NEXTEL Cup season, top TUMS honors go to:

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a sure top-10 run go away when he gets caught on pit road by a late race yellow flag.

9. David Ragan had a tough day in the No. 6 Ford, causing several wrecks during the day.

8. The COT had a tough day at Phoenix - as drivers reported handling problems and difficulty passing.

7. David Stremme needed some TUMS to go with his Coors Light car after getting collected in an early race crash.

6. J.J. Yeley continued his string of crashes in a collision with David Ragan.

5. Ryan Newman saw a top-five finish fade away after a pit road incident left his Dodge damaged and kept him on pit road for a number of laps for repairs.

4. Michael Waltrip misses yet another race and the pressure mounts from sponsors anxious to see their investment on the track.

3. Denny Hamlin had some indigestion after having one of the fastest cars, but a pit road speeding penalty kept him from getting to victory lane.

2. Kurt Busch gets caught under caution again, keeping him from a great finish two weeks in a row.

1. Tony Stewart needed some fast relief after leading the most laps of the race then giving up the lead to Jeff Gordon at the end.


Ryan Newman's TV NASCAR Nextel Cup Talladega Superspeedway schedule

Catch Ryan Newman on the Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge this week as they practice, qualify and run in the Aarons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway!

Here is the Schedule -

SPEED 042707 2:30 p.m. Aaron's 499 practice
SPEED 042707 4 p.m. Aaron's 499 final practice
SPEED 042807 11 a.m. Aaron's 499 qualifying
FOX 042907 1:30 p.m. Aaron's 499

Promising night ends with miscommunication on pit road

Monday, April 23, 2007

AVONDALE, Ariz. – The Subway Fresh Fit 500 looked like it was going to be a great night for Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, and his team. But miscommunication on pit road severely altered the evening and relegated Newman to a 38th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway.

After qualifying 19th for Saturday night’s race, Newman made it known that he had a good, fast car and he was headed to the front.

Even though Newman fought a tight condition in his Dodge Avenger for most of the race, the Indiana native was still able to maneuver the car through traffic and by lap 13 he had climbed into the top 15.

“I’m tight pretty much everywhere,” Newman told crew chief Mike Nelson. “I lost the front going into (turn) one, one time.”

Nelson and Newman discussed possible changes for their first pit stop and it wouldn’t be too long before they would get the chance to free up the car.

On the first stop at lap 39, Nelson called for four tires, fuel and one round of wedge in the right rear. The 13.93-second stop also allowed Newman to gain two positions when the green flag waved again on lap 42.

One lap later, the yellow came out again for a three-car accident and Newman made his way into the top 10 for the first time in the race.

Newman had trouble on restarts during the race's first half. As soon as the green flag would drop, Newman would fall back a couple of spots, but it didn’t take long for the Alltel Dodge to regain them.

“I’m still tight,” Newman told his crew. “About the same level of tightness as it was before.”

The tightness Newman fought in his car impeded his climb into the top 10.

“I’m too tight; I can’t get any closer (to Matt Kenseth),” Newman relayed. “It’s tight mostly in the center of (turns) one and two.”

Even though Newman constantly fought the car's tightness, he was still one of the fastest on the 1-mile track. On lap 92, Newman had the fastest time with a lap of 29.312 seconds. Then-leader Denny Hamlin had the second fastest time. The very next lap, Newman broke into the top 10 and spent most of the remaining laps up front.

Pit road was definitely not a friendly place for Newman on Saturday night. Starting with his second stop, each time the Alltel Dodge came down pit road, the problems escalated.

As Newman left pit road after his second stop, a tire rolled onto pit road and Newman hit the tire. Luckily, there was no damage to the car. The next time Newman was on pit road, Dale Earnhardt Jr. came out of his pit stall and directly into the Alltel Dodge's left-rear quarter panel. Again, the car was OK as the sheet metal had been pushed up away from the tire. There wasn’t much concern about a tire rub or any other problems with the damage.

For 50 laps, Newman played catch-up to teammate Kurt Busch, who was in fifth, but Newman was hampered by a car that was loose exiting the corners.

“We went a bit too far on the balance,” Newman radioed in. “It’s just a little loose off; let’s get the track bar down next time.”

Once more, Newman was still one of the fastest cars on the track with the loose condition. Lap 256 saw Newman complete a lap in 29.20 seconds. Then-leader Tony Stewart recorded a lap time of 29.36 seconds. It wouldn’t be until lap 273, though, that Newman would pass Busch and grab the fifth position.

Newman was gaining on Jimmie Johnson, who was fourth, when the only round of green-flag pit stops began late in the race. Newman came down pit road for what was supposed to be his last stop of the night on lap 284. As he pulled into his stall, the yellow flag waved for a three-car crash on the track. A miscommunication between the team caused problems that immediately took Newman out of contention for the win and left him 11 laps down when the checkered flag waved.

“It was just the wrong time to pit. We had about a three-lap window there. The bottom line was we came in and the yellow came out. Everything was worst case scenario,” Newman explained after he climbed from his car. “I was just getting ready to roll off after the pit stop and the guys had the jack on the right side. I thought we waved off the left-side tires and did right sides, and the jackman, I watched him stop like he got a signal from the crew guys that we were going to do two. I didn’t know the guys came over and took off the left-side tires. On top of that, it drug the sway bar arm off when I backed up and rolled over the tires. Unfortunate situation for about 6 seconds there, but it led us to be 11 laps down and we had a car that was easily capable of winning the race.

“We just never got good track position,” Newman said. “We kept working our way up all day. We seem to be a little bit behind when it comes to fuel mileage this year. It’s hurt us. It’s hurt Kurt a couple of times now and it hurt us today for sure. It’s tough to have a situation like that and walk away with not very much other than a car we can take to Richmond. The Penske team is working well together. Obviously, it shows. The cars are very similar, the drivers are driving them hard and we’re working well together as teams. It’s just unfortunate when situations like that happen.”

Newman fell to 26th in the drivers’ standings, 194 points behind 12th-place Jamie McMurray and 621 points out of first.

Next weekend, Newman will pilot the No. 12 Dodge Charger for the first of three Cup races in 2007 at Talladega Superspeedway. The Aaron’s 499 will air live on FOX and MRN Radio beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

- Corporate Communications

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Late-race caution ruins Newman's hopes

By JIM UTTER / The Charlotte Observer

AVONDALE, Ariz. - Ryan Newman appeared headed to a much-needed strong finish Saturday but while he made his final pit stop late in the race, the caution came out for a wreck.

Newman thought his team had decided to take two tires rather than four to hurry the stop, but when he drove out of the pit stall his left-front tire came off. He backed up and got a new tire, but ended up with a 38th-place finish.

“The bottom line is we came in and the caution came out. Everything was the wors- case scenario,” Newman said.

“Unfortunate situation for about six seconds there, but it led to us be 11 laps down and we had a car that was easily capable of winning the race.”

Newman is now 26th in points with one top-10 finish this season.


Teammates Newman, Busch endure setbacks again

AVONDALE, Ariz. - Penske Racing looked like it was about to shake off its setbacks and rally at Phoenix International Raceway.

But the team found itself falling victim to fate once more. Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman were running in the top 10 in the final third of the race and as high as fifth and sixth when they were caught out of sequence on pit strategy. Busch had pitted when the caution came out, forcing him to restart in front of the leaders on lap 294. He managed to finish the race on the lead lap, but barely. He did finish 18th, and he did gain two positions in the standings to 13th, but Busch couldn't have been happy about another race where he ran in the front but finished well away from it.

"It's going to be another long week at the shop," said weekend crew chief Troy Raker. "We aren't getting the fuel mileage we need right now, and it's compromising our track position. That, combined with bad luck with caution flags, is knocking the wind out of our sails right now.

"We were running solid fifth and sixth-place all night long, and the car was coming to us at the end. All the adjustments were hitting. Hopefully we'll get it together and win one soon."

Newman's night fared even worse. Not only did he pit and lose out due to the caution, but problems on his stop proved even more costly and relegated him to a 38th-place finish.

"Everything was worst-case scenario," said Newman, who is 26th in points. "I was just getting ready to roll off after the pit stop and the guys had the jack on the right side. I thought we waved off the left side tires and did right sides, and the jackman, I watched him stop like he got a signal from the crew guys that we were going to do two.

"I didn't know the guys came over and took off the left-side tires. On top of that it drug the sway bar arm off when I backed up and rolled over the tires. Unfortunate situation for about six seconds there, but it led us to be 11 laps down and we had a car that was easily capable of winning the race."

source - scene daily

Ryan Newman Stats Table Updated - After Subway Fresh Fit 500

I have updated the Ryan Newman #12 Penske Racing Alltel Dodge Team Stats. Check them out.

Jeff GordonTies Dale Earnhardt Wins Record

Tonight Jeff Gordon tied Dale Earnhardt's all time record tonight. I personally was hoping NOT to see this.

Well......I really don't like Gordon....but who does? But this is worth noting becasuse of the Earnhardt factor. What a great racer. I am/was a Earnhardt fan and I think Earnhardt is in a completely different class than Gordon.

That being said......Gordon and his rainbow team seem to have the right mix. Congrats to him.

Mike Pratt

SOUCE - No hyper link here. I am sure you can find it WITHOUT even trying --- ALL OVER THE INTERNET.

Ryan Newman Had A Great Race - Subway Fresh Fit 500

Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge NASCAR Nextel Cup Team had an awesome night tonight AND they finished 38th.

Newman and started 19th and quickly worked his way up to 13th. It did not take long for him to crack the top ten. Newman and his teammate Kurt Busch ran together most of the night in the top ten.

With about 30 laps to go it was time for green flag pit stops. Ryan Newman pits. When he is pitting the caution flag comes out and sends Newman 1 lap down.

What I do not understand and will be researching tomorrow, is with that pit stop Newman ended up in 38th, 11 lap down. There was some miscommunication in the pit stall. Newman left the pit early, or the crew goofed but he reversed and went back to the pit. The next thing I noticed he was 38th and 11 laps down. I don't understand and WILL find out.

Newman and his team seemed to be right on the money with the COT (Car Of Tomorrow) setup. I was happy for Newman tonight and still am even with the 38th finish. This finish was NOT his or his teams fault, but more like......just how the cars fall.

GOOD LUCK NEXT week at Talladega. One of my favorites.