Saturday, June 2, 2007

Ryan Newman Practice Num 3 For Autism Speaks 400 1s3rd Practice

Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team had their third practice at Dover International Speedway today for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Autism Speaks 400

Newman had the 7 fastest practice speed of 148.063 mph / 24.314 sec.

Newman was seconds 0.192 behind the leader Jimmie Johnson who had a practice time of 149.241 / 24.122.

Practice 1 --- Newman had the 13 fastest practice speed of 150.42 mph / 23.933 sec.
practice 2--- Newman had the 3 fastest practice speed of 149.124 mph / 24.141 sec.
Ryan Newman Qualified 1 for the Autism Speaks 400.
Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway

Practice 3 Results

Practice 2 Results

Practice 1 Results

Qualifying Order

Ryan Newman 3 For Autism Speaks 400 2nd Practice

Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team had their second practice at Dover International Speedway today for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Autism Speaks 400
Newman had the 3 fastest practice speed of 149.124 mph / 24.141 sec.

Newman was seconds behind the leader Jimmie Johnson who had a practice time of 149.309 / 24.111.

Practice 2 Results

Practice 1 Results

Qualifying Order

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway

Name that car: Nicknames or numbers?

The number stenciled on the dashboard of Ryan Newman's car means one thing: That car has yet to win.

In fact, the garage at Penske Racing South is full of numbered cars. That means they haven't won, either.

Car owner Roger Penske started a tradition years ago of giving cars nicknames, but only after they win. A car with a name has character. It has history. It has a proven track record.

When they come off the assembly line, they're given numbers. Jimmie Johnson's car in last Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 was 48- 363. That means it was the 363rd car produced at Hendrick Motorsports since that racing organization opened its doors in 1984. But unlike Newman, Johnson's car always will be 48-363. No matter how many times it may take Johnson to Victory Lane, the Hendrick team doesn't want to get too personal with their cars.

Others feel a nickname creates a deeper connection between man and machine.

"Usually the driver has the input on the naming of it," Newman said. "When Matt (Borland) was crew chief, he named a couple of them. It's all about the situation. We actually had a car that hadn't won, but it ran so good and it should have won so many times, we called it 'Patches' because it had been patched up so many times. It hauled the mail whenever we took it to the track.

"It's a Penske tradition."

The first car Newman named was "Olive Oyl," because that was his wife's nickname. The team stuck with the Popeye theme by naming another car "Poopdeck Pappy" after Popeye's father, as well as "Popeye" himself.

"Another one of my favorites was 'Thumper.' That was the Busch car I won my first Busch race with," Newman said. "It was 'Thumper' because it put the hammer down."

Some of Newman's other cars were named "Goldie Locks," "Silver Locks," "Faith" and "Patience."

Rusty Wallace's favorite cars at Penske were "Captain," "The Predator" and "Midnight." Darrell Waltrip's favorite car was called "Big Bertha." It wasn't easy, but Davey Allison learned to love "Fido." Allison didn't like "Fido" at first and his team played on that. Allison called it "Fido" because it drove like a dog, and his team had fun by putting a dog collar and dog tag in it after making repairs.

Allison won with it, and it became one of his favorites in the Robert Yates Racing stables.

Allison's favorite cars, however, had a spectacular demise. "James Bond 007" was destroyed at the finish line in a crash with Kyle Petty in the 1992 Nextel All-Star Challenge. "James Bond 007" finished on its roof; Allison celebrated in the emergency room of Carolinas Medical Center.

Not all nicknames are nice. Johnny Sauter said he's used a lot of names for his car, and most of them included profane names of is cars with "Son of a ..."

"I've had a lot of cars that have won races, but I've never named one," Sauter said. "I've called race cars names, but I've never named one. I don't know what makes a good car other than it will drive like you want it to. Then there's cars no matter what you do to it, they don't run any good."

One of the most famous nicknames was "Grover" for a Pontiac driven by Kyle Petty. Car owner Felix Sabates taped a $1,000 bill featuring president Grover Cleveland to the dashboard to entice Petty to drive hard.

Dale Jarrett once called a car "Lawnmower" because he could run so close to the grass along the track apron.

Jeff Green hasn't given a car a name since he won the Busch Series championship in 2000. After thinking about it, he's now considering about doing it again since he hasn't won since moving up to the Nextel Cup Series in 2002.

"I got so many cars, it's hard to keep up with them," Green said of his current ride at Haas CNC Racing. "We had a car in Busch, back in the Nesquik days, we called 'Bonus.' The guys got a bonus because every time we run it, it seemed like we were in the top five. We ran that car to death. Now, they're all by number. I've got 20-something cars so it's hard to come up with names.

"But thinking about it, maybe we should start thinking about it. We had a lot of success when we did."

Friday, June 1, 2007

Ryan Newman On The Pole At Dover - 2 Weeks In A Row

Ryan Newman grabbed his 3rd pole position of the year today at Dover. This is also Newman's 2nd pole position in 2 weeks. Last week Nemwan blew and engine during the race and finished towards the end of the field.

Hopefully Newman can get a good finish with this pole position. Newmans most recent string of top 10 finishes have come from him starting in around the 30th position.

5 Dodges 3 Chevrolet's and 2 Fords qualified in the top 10 for the Autism Speaks 400. Only one of the Chevy's was a Hendrick (thank God) and another was Dale Earnhardt JR. Hopefully Dodge (and of course Ryan Nemwan) can finish this race out front.

Good luck to Ryan Newman and his #12 Alltel Dodge NASCAR Nextel Cup team.

On another note, Dale Jarred qualified 22nd and Michael Waltrip qualified 23rd for this race. Thats right...Waltrip qualified!!!

Complete Line Up For Autism Speaks 400 At Dover

Ryan Newman and the Pooper Scooper

Ryan Newman recently wanted a shirt from this guys company. The shirt reads "Got Poop?".
The article talks about how this guy (Pat Kelly) wanted to find a way to better promote his business - Pet Waste Removal.
Well, he went to Home Depot and got the material to build his imitation Doggie Doo that now rides on top of his car.
I was cracking up through most of this article.
Anyway, I guess Ryan Newman approached him and wanted one of his "Got Poop?" t-shirts. This guy said sure, if you pose in front of my "Poop Removal" vehicle with me.
Anyway, that is what the picture is all about.

Court won't move up NASCAR's AT&T appeal

NASCAR's appeal of an injunction issued by a U.S. District Court judge to allow AT&T's logos on the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing car will not be moved up earlier than the previously scheduled hearing date of Aug. 2.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta denied the request from NASCAR and Sprint Nextel for the hearing to be held sooner.

U.S. District Court Judge Marvin H. Shoob issued his injunction May 18 to allow the AT&T logos on the car driven by Jeff Burton.

AT&T sued NASCAR to get the logos on the car after it merged with Cingular. NASCAR and Sprint Nextel (sponsor of the Nextel Cup Series) argued that a grandfather clause that allowed the Cingular logos did not permit a change because of a merger.

The judge ruled in favor of AT&T because NASCAR's annual licensing agreement with RCR did not explicitly prohibit the change in logos because of a merger.

Sprint Nextel argues that the value of its sponsorship - estimated at $700 million-$750 million over 10 years - has been diminished because of the ruling.

Ryan Newman 13 For Coca-Cola 600 1st Practice

Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team had their first practice at Dover International Speedway today for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Autism Speaks 400

Newman had the 13 fastest practice speed of 150.42 mph / 23.933 sec.

Newman was -0.27 seconds behind the leader and team mate Kurt Busch who had a practice time of 152.136 / 23.663.

Practice 1 Results

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway

Fan races home with $200,000 in Alltel ‘My Circle 500’ sweepstakes

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge, and his NASCAR competitors weren’t the only ones racing for big-time prize money this weekend in Charlotte, N.C.

In a race unlike any other, more than 110 race fans took to the track for the Alltel "My Circle 500." Ten national sweepstakes finalists and their ‘pit crews’ of 10 friends competed in the ultimate go-kart and pit crew challenge, with grand prize winner Joan Goldsberry of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and her ‘Circle’ racing home with $200,000 from Alltel Wireless.

Newman himself traded in his Alltel Dodge for a go-kart this past Saturday, setting the time to beat in an intense, head-to-head go-kart competition. After burning rubber on the track, Goldsberry and her ‘Circle’ headed to the pits where the team clocked an impressive, winning time of 32.6 seconds in the pit crew competition to seal a trip to Victory Lane.

"As a race fan, it doesn’t get any better than taking the checkered flag for an amazing grand prize," said Goldsberry, one of thousands of fans across the country who entered Alltel’s text-to-win sweepstakes. "We’re so thankful that Alltel brought us to Charlotte for the chance to be ‘My Circle 500’ champions."

"All of the finalists had a blast out there on the track," said Samira Zebian, director sponsorship marketing for Alltel. "We wanted to offer race fans a true racing experience – both behind the wheel and in the pits – and we were thrilled to award Joan a check for $200,000 from Alltel."

For the 10 finalists and their ‘Circles,’ the "My Circle 500" was more than just a race. As part of the all-expense paid trip to Charlotte, they also received a behind-the-scenes look at Penske Race Shop, an exclusive meet and greet with Newman and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team, as well as first class treatment during NASCAR race weekend in Charlotte.

Newman Looks To Continue Success At 'Monster Mile'

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 31, 2007) – Dover International Speedway has been a very good track for Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Dodge Avenger.

Newman, who will make his 11th Cup start at the "Monster Mile" and the 201st of his Cup Series career this weekend, possesses the best starting average of all active drivers at the 1-mile Delaware track with a 6.2. He also is just behind Tony Stewart for the best finishing average at 9.0. Stewart has an 8.9 finishing average.

All but one of Newman’s 10 starts have been from the top five, with three of them being Bud Pole Awards. His lone start outside the top five occurred in his Cup debut at Dover in 2002 when he qualified 38th.

Along with his three poles, Newman has visited Dover's Victory Lane three times, while seven of his 10 starts have concluded with a top-10 finish. Newman’s first win at the track came in June 2003, the same weekend he earned his first pole on the high-banked, concrete speedway.

In 10 previous races, Newman has led 672 laps in seven events, fifth among the active drivers. He has completed 3,975 laps of a possible 4,004, giving him a 99.3 percent completion rate. Newman has also been running at the end of every Cup race in which he has competed at Dover. In only two of those events, Newman did not finish the race on the lead lap.

Crew chief Mike Nelson and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger team will take chassis PRS-515 as the primary car to Dover for yet another COT race. This car was last used in Richmond where it was a new car for that race. In that event, Newman started 30th and finished sixth.

The back-up car is PRS-509. This chassis has been taken to every COT race this year, but has not been used.

The Autism Speaks 400 presented by Visa will be broadcast live from Dover International Speedway by FOX and MRN Radio beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Toyota and Penske?

According to sources, Toyota has approached Gibbs, Penske and others about going with them in 2008.

Penske, who has been with just about every manufacturer in racing over the years and who is one of the world’s biggest Toyota dealers, could be making the move to Toyota for next year. According to sources close to the situation, Penske could be looking at a merger with Michael Waltrip’s struggling Toyota operation.

Penske might not be that much of a stretch to go with Toyota. Dodge contracts are suppose to be good until 2009, but with Daimler-Chrysler being bought out by private equity groups, Dodge may be getting out of the game. My guess is that they would be more than happy to rip up the contract.

And of course there was/is speculation that Newman was looking for a new ride, which I think is just bogus. But if he was even considering it, could this help him make up his mind?

I can't really say how I feel about that right now. At first I did not want Toyota coming in. Now I find myself looking for Waltrips qualifying performance (and rooting for him) right after I find Newman's. And on top of that, I admit, I do root for the Toyota's to have at least a decent finish during the races ---- behind Newman of course.

There is speculation that Gibbs is not interested in the deal, but it is being reported that they have not turned the idea down either.

What impact would that have on Dale Earnhardt JR's decision making process. He has said that he wants to stay with Chevy. If he went with Gibbs, then he would more than likely have to drop Budwieser as a sponsor. Would he drop Chevy as well. HMMM.

Toyota remains one of the big stories bubbling in the NASCAR garage, and it may be ready to make some big, bold moves for 2008, according to Detroit sources.

Toyota, sources said, has approached the Gibbs team with a proposal to leave Chevrolet, which would give it Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley. Gibbs’ management doesn’t appear to be that interested, but the offer hasn’t been rejected, according to team sources.

And there is speculation that Robert and Doug Yates may be willing to listen to Toyota offers, even though they have long-standing ties with Ford.

information from the Winston-Salem Journal

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

600 ratings drop 11.8 percent but beat Indy

Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Nextel Cup race from Lowe's Motor Speedway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.5 and a 10 market share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.

The rating is 11.8 percent lower than the 5.1/11 the race earned last year. The NASCAR race, however, again outdrew ABC's coverage of Sunday's Indianpolis 500, which earned a 4.3. ABC's ratings for the IndyCar event were down 15.7 percent from a 5.1 last year, the Daily reported.

The open-wheel Indy race had earned a 4.6 overnight rating, edging the 4.5 the Cup race drew overnight in the nation's largest markets.

Penske - Noting Newman -Dover 400

-- Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, will make his 11th Cup start at Dover International Speedway. It will be his 201st career start in the Cup Series.

-- Newman has an average start of 6.2 and an average finish of 9.0. All but one of Newman’s 10 starts have been from the top five. His first Cup career start at Dover in 2002 was in the 38th position. Newman has earned three Bud Poles at the Dover, Del., track.

-- Newman has seven top-10 finishes at Dover, including three trips to victory lane. Newman’s first win at Dover came in June 2003, the same weekend he earned his first pole at the track.

-- In 10 previous races, Newman has led 672 laps in seven events. He has completed 3,975 laps of a possible 4,002, giving him a 99.3 percent completion rate.

-- Newman has been running at the end of every Cup race in which he has competed at Dover. In only two of those events, Newman did not finish the race on the lead lap.

-- Dover International Speedway is the only track where Newman has earned three victories in his eight-year career. Along with his Cup Series success, Newman has also earned two Busch Pole Awards and one Busch victory at the 1-mile track.

-- Newman is one of five teams featured on DirecTV's NASCAR HotPass this weekend at Dover.

-- PRS-071: 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 the 38th pole of his Cup Series career.

-- PRS-053: This is the car Newman drove in the all-star race. It started and finished in the eighth position.


Newman On Dover: "I like racing at Dover and this team has had a lot of success at the track. I’m not worried about the problems we had at Charlotte last week continuing in Dover. Every team has bad races; something happened that was out of our control. We’ll move on and go to Dover knowing that we have a car and a team that are capable of winning this race.”

Alltel rethinks deal after AT&T ruling

The court ruling that allowed AT&T to rebrand the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet has Alltel thinking about challenging the restrictions placed on its NASCAR team sponsorship.

Until now, Alltel has abided by a set of rules that aren't specifically written into its deal with Penske Racing, and many of those rules restrict Alltel from activating its deal the way other sponsors do.

Because it is a wireless company that competes directly against Sprint Nextel, which spends close to $100 million a year to be NASCAR's top series sponsor, Alltel can't set up interactive displays, it can't title sponsor a race, it can't do any more than put its mark on driver Ryan Newman, the car, the pit crew and a single merchandise trailer.

And like Cingular, Alltel has always been told that it can't change its name if ever acquired by another company. But these prohibitions could be subject to debate after a judge's ruling on May 18 that allowed Cingular's No. 31 car to carry AT&T sponsorship. Sprint Nextel has said that the ruling diminishes its exclusivity in the sport.

U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Shoob granted AT&T a temporary injunction to put its blue globe on the No. 31 car because, in part, NASCAR's restrictions weren't specifically outlined in Cingular's team contract with Richard Childress Racing.

Alltel's restrictions are likewise vaguely referenced in its contract with Penske, said Samira Zebian, Alltel's director of sponsorship marketing.

"Could this allow us to leverage the race track and other platforms that have been off-limits to us?" Zebian asked. "What has been conjecture in the past now must be formalized. We've always been very respectful of Nextel's rights, but we need a better understanding of how far-reaching those rights are.

"What the suit brings to light is that a league deal shouldn't impact our category so negatively that we can't put our product in front of the fans the way every other team sponsor can."

Alltel has no plans to challenge NASCAR legally, Zebian said, but "it does force a conversation" about Alltel's activation rights.

"It's a learning situation because you can never predict everything that may happen," said Ron Schneider, president of Sport Dimensions, which has represented Shell, Best Western and others. "I doubt Nextel or anyone else would have predicted that Cingular, the industry leader, would go away. It's going to lead to strong clauses being written into these contracts to address that."

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said the case could prompt NASCAR to review the way its team contracts are written. The governing body has purposely kept the wording in the contracts as neutral as possible to maintain flexibility with the teams and sponsors, he said, but that flexibility could be lost in future contracts. NASCAR likely will be much more specific in its wording on any sponsor restrictions.

"We've usually found ways to make things work and our model has been considered pretty sponsor-friendly, but now our hand might be forced to get rid of some of those gray areas," Poston said.

Once the AT&T trial concludes, though, the issue still might not be settled. Alltel was recently acquired by TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners and while the name is expected to remain the same, some analysts believe Alltel remains a target for one of the larger wireless companies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ryan Newman and the Dover International Speedway

Welcome to Dover International Speedway located in Dover, DE.

Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge will be racing here this weekend in the Autism 400.

Dover International Speedway

***Location : Dover, DE
***Completed : 1969
***Distance : 1 mile
***Shape : Oval
***Seating : 140,000

***Nextel Cup Top Race Speed : 132.719 by Mark Martin on 9/21/1997
***Nextel Cup Top Qualifying Speed : 161.522 by Jeremy Mayfield on 6/4/2004

MANUFATURER WINS AT Dover International Speedway SINCE 2002
FORD = 3

NEWMAN'S STATS AT Dover International Speedway

STARTS = 10>>>Poles = 3>>>Wins = 3>>>Top 5 = 5>>>Top 10 = 7

Avg Start = 6.2>>>Avg Finish = 9>>>%Laps Comp = -0.9938>>>Laps Led = 672

Newman won from the pole here in June's 2003 race and then turn around and won again in the September 2003 race.

Races = 33>>>Wins = 1>>>Top 5 = 9>>>Top 10 = 17>>>Average Start = 7.9>>>Average Finish = 15.8

Good luck to Ryan Newman and the Penske Racing's #12 Alltel Dodge NASCAR Nextel Cup Team at Dover International Speedway for the Dover 400 this coming week and weekend!!!

Mike Pratt

Monday, May 28, 2007

Charlotte: Dodge teams race quotes

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 alltel Dodge Charger)

“We had a good car. We got the Lucky Dog, and we were going to be one of 15 cars on the lead lap. The car was good from the start. There was a little give and take. We fell back track position wise and worked our way back up. We just had a bad set of tires there at the end. We chunked out a right rear which never should have happened. It just shouldn’t have happened. I don’t know what happened with that tire, but either way, we had a good run with the alltel Dodge. We were back on the lead lap with a bad set of tires and the engine let go. Streaks always end (Newman had recorded three straight top 10 finishes entering the Coca-Cola 600). They never really begin. Everybody at Penske Racing has been doing a great job. We’ve just got to keep it up and stay focused. This is something that could get us down, but it shouldn’t. I’m looking forward to Dover. It’s one of my favorite race tracks. Our car of tomorrow program has been strong, so it’s something that can be very positive for us. We’ve just got to make it happen. I don’t think anything was out of character tonight for the 600. There was one big accident and it was because of a cut left rear tire on the 48 car. That’s just going to happen sometimes.”


KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)

“We had a really good car early on and every time I came in it was like roulette. What tires are we going to get? How’s the car going to handle? I was in position for the Lucky Dog and the car just jumped out from underneath me. Truex was on us, but I just lost it I guess. I just can’t wait to get to Dover. I thought we had a really good car early on. It just didn’t stick for us when the track got better for everybody. It’s funny how we just ran the same lap times all night. We were really good in the daytime but horrible at night “

REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) — 4th

“One of the few buddies I have out here won the race, so I’m pretty pumped up I had a good run and my boy won, so I’m pretty excited right now. We took a little gamble right there at the end. We’d run in the top 10 all day. We might not have had a fourth-place car, but we had a 10th-place car. The last four laps I wasn’t even going full throttle, maybe half throttle trying to save a little fuel, and as soon as I crossed the line it ran out. We got lucky, but the numbers came out right. I was very worried about the fuel lasting. When we first started they said we were two laps short. It was going to be close, but I’m pretty happy we made it.

“We need a boost. We needed to win, but this is close enough right now. It was a good run. We had a top 10 all day, so we’ll take fourth. Luck finally fell our way a little bit. I can count on my hands my number of friends out here. Casey and I are pretty good friends. He was my teammate last year and we still talk a lot, so I wanted to go congratulate him.”


BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Betty Crocker/Chocolate Chex Dodge Charger) — 13th

“Kyle had a good car yesterday in practice, and he got a lap down tonight. I think he had a little trouble in that wreck. He was able to come back and stay out there at the end and make up a few spots. That was good for him. We were terrible all night long. We just missed all the wrecks. We just weren’t good enough.”


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ryan Newman Finishes 39th After Blowing An Engine For The Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's

Ryan Newman was having a decent run Sunday night at Lowe's Internation Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 until his engine blew on lap 176. The field was under caution and Newman had just been given the Lucky Dog when Newman started smoking. He immediatly went to the garage.

In an interview Newman stated that the car had not fully blown and that they were going to try and get back on the track in order to just rack up laps.

Newman got lucky a couple of other times during the race. Caution number 2 came out when the field started wrecking right behind him. Jimmie Johnson had a tire going down and had to slow down causing the accordian effect.

On caution number 3 Raines got into Gordon a little sending Gordon into the grass. Gordon then came back across the track after almost saving it in the grass. He got a hard lick when he hit the wall head on and at the same time Allmindinger T-Boned him. Everyone was O.K. After Gordon hit the wall and was coming back down the track, Newman and another driver had to navigate there way through and made it.

Newman led the first 10 laps before reliquishing the position to his team mate Kurt Busch. After that Newman was all over. He fell to 17th one lap down and then got the Lucky Dog right before blowing up.

Thats to bad for Newman and his #12 Alltel Dodge team. They were feeling great after finishing in the top ten for 4 consrecutive races, winning the Pit Crew Challenge and finishing 8th for the All-Star Challenge.

I made the comment before that I did not think engine's blowing would come into effect. I was wrong. But at lap 176...come on. Oh well.

The end of the race was great. It was based on fuel mileage. Stewart had a stong lead but had to come in for fuel with a couple of laps to go. So did most of the other drivers. Except a few conserved and gambled on everyone else having to pit.

It paid off for Casey Mears. He took the checkered followed by J.J. Yeley and Kyle Petty. Who, what....thats right. I love it. 6 of the top 10 finishers have not finished in the top ten yet this year. I think that is awesome even though it was a Hendrick car in victory wasn't you know who or the other one.

Here is the top 12.

1 Casey Mears
2 J.J. Yeley
3 Kyle Petty
4 Reed Sorenson
5 Brian Vickers
6 Tony Stewart
7 Ricky Rudd
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9 Denny Hamlin
10 Jimmie Johnson
11 Mark Martin
12 Matt Kenseth

Race Day - Memorial Day Weekend

Memeorial Day Weekend is a great time to remember our troops and what they have sacrificed for us. Maybe I am a bit bias after spending 8 years in the Army, but I love Memorial Day Weekend and the 4th of July. In fact, for the 4th this year I will have my house decorated like Christmas (lights and all) only in a red, white and blue theme!!

In honor of this great weekend, 10 Nextel Cup drivers will be sporting "military themed" cars. I think this is awesome and shows great respect. Of course JR is one of those and the BUD car, in camo will be GREAT. America's beer......camo'ed up! And it's all for a great cause. A percentage of the money raised from sales will go to the USO who will then disseminate the money to military families. The goal is to raise the same amount awarded for the All-Star Challenge....$1 Million. So make sure you help out, I will. Don't know what I am going to buy yet (got to check with the boss - but she is a big JR fan, so we will get something).

And how great is it that on this great Memorial Day Weekend my driver, Ryan (The Rocket Man) Newman will be making his 200th Nascar Nextel Cup start from the pole. And going even bigger his owner, Roger Penske also has Newman's team mate Kurt Busch sitting in second, giving Penske the whole front row at Lowe's Internation Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600.

And let's go even bigger. Penske also has his Indy car sitting on the pole for the Indy 500 with Helio Castroneves behind the wheel. And his team mate Sam Hornish Jr is starting in the second row.

If nothing else, Newman's last 4 consecutive top 10 finishes has got his name in the news alot this week. There was even speculation of him leaving Penske. Newman has said in his Podcast and other interviews that he has no plans on leaving Penske. But the amount of article "tagged" Ryan Newman this week has been awesome. Usually I am searching and searching for "Newman News" and this week it is almost to much. (yeah, I am never happy)

Of course I have not seen anyone pick Nemwan for a win this week. I keep hearing (reading) things like "1 win from the pole in the past 17 races at Lowe's: Jimmie Johnson in May 2004." At "Pick'em - Charlotte" on Newman is picked only as a Dark Horse by 3 memebers - Jarrod Breeze, Raygan Swan and David Caraviello. Kurt Busch did get a pick for a win, but he's starting 2nd and not in the pole.

Well, I don't care. I think Newman is due and it appears that he has a great car for todays race.

Engine wear on this 600 mile race is also brought up quite a bit, but as Mike over at TroubleInTurn2 points out, there have only been 7 blown engines in the last 4 races. An almost 2 a race avrage. That is not that bad at all and is not a concern of mine for this race.

Overall I hope for a great race this Memorial Day Weekend.

Good luck to Ryan Newman and his Penske South #12 Alltel Dodge Nextel Cup Team this weekend (go ahaed, say that fast 10 times).

We should also expect GREAT pit times from this #12 team now.......RIGHT!!!!