Saturday, May 26, 2007

Indiana's Newman at home in stock cars

CONCORD, N.C. - Sitting on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 is a Brazilian driving for Roger Penske.

Helio Castroneves' roots are a long way from Indiana.

But sitting on the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 is a Hoosier driving for Roger Penske. Ryan Newman's roots are in South Bend, Ind., where he was born, and on dirt tracks across Indiana.

Funny, isn't it, that the native Hoosier is here instead of there?

Not to Newman. The Midwestern dirt tracks wouldn't lead him to Indianapolis, at least not in an open-wheel car. No, his path was always headed toward NASCAR.

Growing up, Newman and his father, Greg, knew NASCAR would be the place to be.

"We used to go downstairs and play slot-cars all the time," Newman said. "I'd say 90 percent of the time, my slot cars were stock cars. We used to always talk about racing doorhandle-to-doorhandle and things like that. That's what I always wanted to do.

"I'm happy to be sitting here where I am, thankful, gracious. I guess there's a little bit of irony involved, but that's fine by me."

Newman has had chances to race in the Indy 500, but he said running at the Brickyard in May would take away from his focus: Nextel Cup racing.

"We kind of joked about it in 2002 and 2003," Newman said. "It never became serious. [Penske] always told me there's a car there if I want it. But I always said I never wanted to take focus away from my efforts in the Cup series. Taking any time practice time away, I didn't feel would be fair for them. It's as much their job and their way of life as it is mine."

And Newman's way of life as taken him to North Carolina, not back home to Indiana.


Is This Newman's Race? 1st For Practice 2 and 3rd For Happy Hour

Could this be Newman's race?

He captured the pole in qualifying. He was the first fastest in practice 2. Then he followed that up with a 3rd fastest happy hour.

I did not get a chance to watch any of those (except the qualifying) so I can not say how exactly he did. Alot of things going on this weekend, but I WILL see the race!! In fact I am in the middle of 3 things right now!!

Good luck to Ryan Nemwan and the #12 Alltel Dodge Team.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Newman hopes hot streak results in victory at Lowe's

After a slow start to the season, Ryan Newman finally is getting up to speed.

Newman earned his sixth career pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday night as he attempts his fourth consecutive top-10 finish when the grid lines up for the Coca-Cola 600 (5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX).

Newman had only one top-10 in the first eight races of the season, and when he finished 38th at Phoenix he was 26th in points. He has since moved up 13 spots in the standings in the span of three points races.

After posting his first top-five of the year most recently at Darlington, Newman found himself 14th in points. He moved up another spot without ever having to take to the track when Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized 100 points for a rules violation at Darlington.

Newman has put together runs of ninth, sixth and fourth place in the past month, and two weeks ago led 39 laps at Darlington, the first time he's led more than one lap in any race this season.

"We've been running really well the last few weeks and it's showed at the end of the race," said Newman, who has gone 56 consecutive races without a win. "We've improved our finishes each of the last three weeks and it's just a matter of time before we get this Alltel Dodge back into Victory Lane. We'd really like to do that this weekend in front of all of our family and friends."

Newman just wasn't blowing smoke when he praised his car this week. During Bud Pole Qualifying, Newman raced around the 1.5-mile track in 29.140 seconds (185.312 mph) to earn his second pole of the season.

"We're bringing a good car with us to Charlotte this weekend," said Newman, who lowered his average starting position at Lowe's from 4.5 to 3.8 with his 39th career pole.

The last time Newman, who will be making his 200th career start, had four consecutive top-10 finishes was two years ago. Lowe's Motor Speedway was a part of that string, too, as Newman started the 2005 Coca-Cola 600 from the pole and finished fifth.

Penske racing teammate Kurt Busch will start on the outside of Newman. He navigated his Dodge around LMS in 29.179 seconds (185.065 mph). Busch also has make a significant jump in points, going from 20th to seventh in six races.

But Busch has only two top-10s in 13 LMS starts, and has a 25.2 average finish in six 600-mile races. He finished 39th and 32nd at LMS last year, his first in the No. 2 Dodge. But Busch has never qualified well at Lowe's, either, with only one top-10 start previously.

"I'm smart enough to know that this weekend's Coke 600 is a major big-picture hurdle for us, but we're confident we'll be prepared as possible for the challenge we're facing there this weekend," Busch said.

"As always, it'll still be about survival again in the 600 on Sunday. With the hard tires and the smaller fuel cells, it'll be extremely challenging for the pit crews. With all the stops we'll be making, their role in winning the race will be incredibly important."

The only other qualifier to top the 185 mph mark was the No. 19 Dodge of Elliott Sadler, who posted a time of 29.189 seconds (185.001). Sadler hasn't scored a top-10 since finishing sixth in the Daytona 500.

"Josh [Browne, team director] and the team have put together a good package for our Dodge Charger," Sadler said.

Sadler has only one top-10 finish in nine previous 600-mile races.

"The Coca-Cola 600 is the most demanding race in the Nextel Cup Series," said Sadler, who finished fifth in 2004. "It starts late afternoon and ends at night, four-and-a-half hours of racing. Staying focused as a driver is essential. Keeping up with the changing track conditions is a challenge for the teams."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ryan Newman Gets Pole Position For Coca-Cola 600

The Rocket Man grabbed the pole position for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's International Speedway.

And to top that off, Penske Racing owns the front row. Ryan Newman's team mate Kurt Busch grabbed 2nd. Busch was 0.039 seconds slower than Newman.

This is a great pole position for Newman because this is his 200th start in the Nextel Cup.

This means, hopefully that Ryan and Kurt will be working together, which has always ended good for Penske.

Good luck to Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge Team and CONGRATULATIONS ON GETTING THE POLE!!!


Practice 1 Results

Qualifying Order

Ryan Newman 26 For Coca-Cola 600 1st Practice

Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team had their first practice at Lowes International Speedway today for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Coca-Cola 600

Newman had the 26 fastest practice speed of 179.289 mph / 30.119 sec.

Newman was -0.422 seconds behind the leader Elliott Sadler who had a practice time of 181.837 / 29.697.

Practice 1 Results

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes International Speedway

Happy 200th Race Ryan Newman

The Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will be Ryan Newman’s 200th Nextel Cup start of his career.

With 199 races under his belt, Newman has 12 wins, 55 top 5’s and 87 top 10’s and 38 pole positions since his first race in the Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 5, 2000 .All that topped off with 31 DNF’s. OUCH!! I have not really studied anyone else’s stats to compare Newman’s too, not do I want to! But over all his record does not seem that bad to me. It may not be great, but definitely not bad.

Newman joined Penske in 2000, won 3 of 5 ARCA races and made his NEXTEL Cup debut.

In 2001 Newman raced in the ARCA, Busch, and Nextel Cup series. He had a very full schedule that year and managed to graduate from Purdue University with a degree in vehicle structure engineering.

In 2002 Newman had his first full year in the Nextel Cup finishing sixth in the points; tied Mark Martin for the most top-10 finishes in a season with 22, a rookie record; became just the second rookie to win The Winston all-star race; led the series with six poles, another rookie record that broke the one established by Davey Allison in 1987; posted 14 top-10 finishes, second only to series champion Tony Stewart with 15; and tied Stewart in races led, holding the No. 1 position in 22 events. He also claimed his first career Cup victory in a rain-shortened race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Newman backed up his outstanding rookie performance with the most prolific sophomore season by a Cup driver since Dale Earnhardt won the series championship in 1980. Newman and the Alltel team won eight races, 11 poles, and led the most miles with 1,509.13. His series-high 11 poles were the most since 1985. Newman also tied Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the most races led during the season at 24, and ended the year with a series-high 17 top-five finishes. Newman’s sophomore year complimented his rookie year. He finished the year with 8 wins, 11 poles, and led the most miles with 1,509.13. His 11 poles were the most in one season since 198. Newman also tied Dale Earnhardt JR. with the most races led during the season at 24. He also ended the year with a series high 17 top 5 finishes.

2003 and 2004 were “slow” Newman. He had a win in 2003 at Michigan. In 2004 he barely made it into the chase (first year of the chase) and ended 7th in points.
2005 saw a better season for Newman, but nothing like his first two seasons in a Cup car.

2006 was by far the most disappointing season for Ryan Newman and his Alltel Dodge. This was the first year for him and his ALLTEL team to finish outside the top 10 finishing in 18th.

This year is looking up for Newman. He is currently 13th in the points standing and only 51 points away from 12th. With 11 races completed this year already, Newman has 1 pole, 1 top 5 and 4 top 10 finishes. He had a slowish start, but seems to be picking up steam.

Is the Coca-Cola 600 Newman’s time for a win?? Let’s hope so. He is over due. 56 races since a win! That would be great if on his 200th race, his “races since last win” number goes back to 0.


New Newman Podcast Available After All-Star Challenge

Newman addresses the "Rumor Mill" about him leaving Penske. Once again he states that he is not looking for a new ride and is happy at Penske.

They discuss what Newman thinks about expanding Penske to 3 teams. Newman says he thinks that it could be beneficial or it could hurt. He says Penske is good as it is right now.

He states that he had a lot faster car at the All-Star Challenge than his 8th place finish shows.

States that he and Montoya are both hard drivers and there is NO rivalry between them. (HHMMM)

---Of course, in my opinion Montoya is trying to have a rivalry with everyone!

They talk about how good Newman is with the fans.

Check it out....All 2007 podcasts are available through this site....look left.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

All-star race sets ratings record for Speed

Speed officials said last Saturday's broadcast of the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway earned the highest rating in the network's history.

The all-star event had a rating of 3.53, a 7 percent increase over the 3.30 for last year's race, which was carried on the cable network FX.

The rating represented Speed's highest rating ever, topping previous mark of 2.1 for the 2005 Craftsman Truck Series race from Daytona.

Speed, which is now available in more than 75 million homes, said the event averaged 2.48 million households.

Penske - Noting Newman - Coca Cola 600

Noting Newman - May 21, 2007

-- The Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will be Ryan Newman’s 200th start in the NASCAR Cup Series. Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, will make his 13th Cup Series start at the Concord, N.C., track.

-- Newman has an average start of 4.5 and an average finish of 20.08. He has 10 top-five starts at the track, including five Bud Pole Awards. Newman earned his first Bud Pole at Charlotte in 2001. His other two starts have been from the 18th and 15th positions.

-- Newman has five top-10 finishes at LMS, including three top-fives.

-- In 10 previous races, Newman has led a total of 222 laps in six events. He has completed 3,488 laps of a possible 4,282, giving him an 81.5 percent completion rate.

-- Newman is going for his fourth-consecutive top-10 finish this Sunday. The last time Newman had four straight finishes in the top-10 was in early 2005 at Darlington, Richmond, Charlotte and Dover.

-- Chassis PRS-071 is the primary car for Coca-Cola 600 weekend. This car was last run at Texas in April; it has been used at all of the intermediate tracks this year. In Las Vegas, Newman earned his first top-10 finish of the year. In Atlanta, Newman earned his 38th pole of his Cup Series career.

-- Chassis PRS-053 is the backup car. This is the car Newman drove in the All-Star race where he started and finished eighth.

Ryan Newman On Lowe's Motor Speedway: "We’ve been running really well the last few weeks and it’s showed at the end of the race. We’re bringing a good car with us to Charlotte this weekend. We’ve improved our finishes each of the last three weeks and it’s just a matter of time before we get this Alltel Dodge back into Victory Lane. We’d really like to do that this weekend in front of all of our family and friends.”

It's Official : NASCAR Will Run COT Full Time Staring 2008

Well, it is official. NASCAR's sanctioning body has decided to run the COT full-time in starting in 2008. In 2006 NASCAR said that it was going to be a three year phase in with 16 races in 2007, 26 races in 2008 and then a full 36 races in 2009. But they also said that if team owners wanted to go full time with faster, then they would.

The average margin of victory through the first five Car of Tomorrow races has been .505 seconds (compared to 1.286 seconds at these same races a year ago) and there have been six fewer DNFs through this same race sequence from 2006.

Some drivers are ready to go with it full time and other are not. There are complaints about it's handling. Jeff Gordon made the comment that he does not understand how they can go forward with this decision when the car has not been raced on a 1.5 mile track yet.

"We feel like making this decision now gives teams an idea of what is coming and lets them put more resources into the new car," Pemberton(NASCAR's VP of Competition said. "Teams can work on program for next year and everyone will be able to get a better grasp on the entire project."

The COT is the culmination of a seven-year project undertaken at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. The new car was built primarily with safety in mind, but during the development process, NASCAR also discovered ways in which the car could improve competition and enable teams to be more cost-efficient.

The car of tomorrow is designed to be a safer car as well as being less costly to run because it could be used at a variety of tracks.
According to NASCAR, 13 teams have used the same chassis for three of the five races; four teams have run the same chassis in four of the five races; and one team - the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing team - has run the same chassis in all five car of tomorrow races.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Penske Racing - Memorial Day Weekend

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 19, 2007) -- In conjunction with the Memorial Day weekend events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Penske Racing gift shop and fan walk will be open May 26 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Msy 27 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Penske racing will be closed Memorial Day Monday in observance of the holiday. However, if you're in town early for the races, stop by Friday when the first 300 fans to visit the gift shop will receive a gift when the doors open at 8:30 a.m.

Penske Racing also is raffling off two gift baskets. Each $1 raffle ticket that is purchased enters you in the drawing to win either a Kurt Busch or a Ryan Newman gift basket that retails for more than $425. Raffle ticket purchases must me made at the gift shop by 3 p.m. on May 27. The two winners will be contacted on May 29. Please see below for gift basket details.

All proceeds from the raffle benefit Friends In Need Animal Shelter in Lexington, N.C. For more information on Friends In Need Animal Shelter, go to

Retail Value (Unsigned): $475

60"X50" Stadium Throw
12" Plasma Motion Clock
Black Penske Racing Tee (XL)
Ladies Baby Blue Sparkle Tee (L)
ALLTEL Crew Shirt (XXL)
NEWMAN Chase Embroidered Heavy Weight LS Tee (XL)
alltel Pit Cap
Penske Racing Cap
2007 Motorsports Authentics Drivers Select 1/24 Scale No. 12 alltel Diecast
2006 Team Caliber Preferred Series 1/24 Scale No. 12 SONY Diecast
alltel Chase Leather Jacket by Wilson's Leather (M)
No. 12 Coffee Mug
3" Round No. 12 Decal
Drivers Select No. 12 Pin
Tattoo Silver No. 12 Pin
Newman Magnetic Photo
Wheels American Tradition 2006 Trading Card
TRAKS Penske Racing Trading Card (also signed by Kurt Busch)

Retail Value (Unsigned): $425

Ladies Baby Blue Sparkle Tee (L)
Black Penske Racing Tee (L)
Miller Chase Leather Jacket by Wilson's Leather (L)
MILLER Crew Shirt (XXXL)
2007 Motorsports Authentics Drivers Select 1/24 Scale No. 2 MILLER LITE Diecast
2006 Team Caliber Preferred Series 1/24 Scale No. 39 Penske Truck Rental Diecast
No. 2 Coffee Mug
2006 Press Pass TRAKS Penske Facility Trading Card
2006 Press Pass Legends Kurt Busch Trading Card
Fruit of the Loom Hooded Gray Sweatshirt (L) *
No. 2 Drivers Select Collectible Lanyard & Pins *
Photo Magnet *
No. 2 Tattoo Silver Pin *
No. 2 Rhinestone No. 2 Keyring *
3" Round No. 2 Decal *
60"X50" Stadium Throw *

The baskets will be shipped a minimum of three weeks after the winner is notified.

Ryan Newman and the Lowe's Motor Speedway

Welcome to Lowe's Motor Speedway located in Concord, NC.

Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge will be racnig here this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600.

Lowe's Motor Speedway

***Location : Concord, NC
***Completed : 1959
***Distance : 1.5 miles
***Shape : Quad-oval with Seating : 165,000
***Please refer to picture for banking information

***Nextel Cup Top Race Speed : 178.512 by Ryan Newman on 5/18/2002
***Nextel Cup Top Qualifying Speed : 193.216 by Elliott Sadler on 10/13/2005

NEWMAN'S STATS AT Lowe's Motor Speedway

Poles = 5
Wins = 0
Top 5 = 3
Top 10 = 5

Avg Start = 11.3
Avg Finish = 28.3
%Laps Comp = -0.7052
Laps Led = 222

Races = 27
Wins = 0
Top 5 = 4
Top 10 = 8
Average Start = 16
Average Finish = 18.8

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the Penske Racing's #12 Alltel Dodge NASCAR Nextel Cup Team at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 this coming week and weekend!!!

Mike Pratt

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ryan Newman and His Contract - Alltel Bought Out

Recently I was asked about Ryan Newman's contract. It got me thinking, I have no idea about his contract. And on top of that, it was announced Sunday that TPG Capital, formerly Texas Pacific Group, and GS Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs have bought Alltel for $27.5 Billion.

This buy out could mean Newman's sponsorship is in the wind. It will depend on what these private equity groups want to do with Alltel. Do they want to chop up the compnay and sell it off in peices, or do they want to run a wireless company. Even if they want to keep the compnay do they want to spend the money to have a NASCAR Nextel Cup Team.

On top of all of that, Daimler-Chrysler was bought out by a private equity group as well. So were will that leave Ryan Newman and his Dodge race car.

With the buy out of Daimler Chrysler, I thought that I had read that all Dodge's had contracts until 2009 and that those contracts were going to be honored.

I found a couple of articles dated 2005 that talk about Newman extending his contract for 3 years with Penske Racing. So that would put him in contract with Penske until the end of 2009.

I can not find anything as far as his contract is concernerd with Alltel. And to tell the truth, I don't know exactly how the contracts work. I don't know if Alltel, Dodge and the other assosiate sponsors are part of the contract with Penske, or if they are all seperate contracts. I could see the Penske and Dodge contracts being rolled together and the other sponsors all being seperate, but I just don't know.

Dodge has said that it will honor all of its contracts (meaning at least through 2009) with the NASCAR teams.

While still under contract with Penske Racing South, through 2009, the Winston-Salem Journal seems to think that Newman could be looking for a new ride. This coming at the time the #12 Alltel Dodge Pit Crew was wrapping up a win over the #43 team in the Pit Crew Challenge. Needless to say, it probably isn’t going to get any better as we roll towards Homestead, with just a race over the 2/3 mark remaining in the season. The Journal eludes to this, but I can not find details on it anywhere.

This is the main quote from the Winston-Salem Journal that is being posted everywhere I look. "It might be difficult to see a ride better than with Roger Penske, one of the most famous names in racing. But Ryan Newman's name is suddenly out in the rumor mill."

But I can not find anything to back any of it up. I can not find where this possibly could have even originated from.

I was also asked what I thought about Newman going to DEI. I don't like that idea. I think Newman is fine where he is and any changes could hurt him with getting use to new cars, new owner and everything involved with that. At least in the short term. Overall I would like to see Newman stay right there at Penske. Things seem to be turning around there. Newman has been running better and team mate Kurt Busch is running up front a few spots ahead of Newman.

Alltel to be sold, effect on Penske sponsorship?

Alltel Corp. announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners (’GSCP’), in a transaction valued at approximately $27.5 billion. Alltel’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement after a comprehensive review of the company’s strategic options, and has recommended the approval of the transaction by Alltel’s shareholders.

Completion of the transaction, which is currently expected to occur by the fourth quarter of 2007 or by the first quarter of 2008, is contingent upon customary closing conditions, including approval by Alltel’s shareholders and certain regulatory approvals. Shareholders will be asked to vote on the proposed transaction at a special meeting that will be held on a date to be announced. Scott Ford, Alltel’s chief executive officer, will remain in his current role.