NASCAR driver Ryan Newman announced an exciting new conservation program today during a press conference at Michigan International Speedway: Racing For Wildlife.
Racing for Wildlife will work to build an American land legacy for generations of race fans who share Newman’s love of the outdoors. Newman teamed up with The Conservation Fund to launch the program in an effort to help preserve America’s great outdoors and educate children about the importance of taking care of our nation’s land and waterways.
Racing For Wildlife’s first project is collaboration with Michigan International Speedway and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to restore Mill Lake Youth Camp. The historic camp, built in the 1930s, is approximately 30 miles north of MIS in the 20,000-acre Waterloo Recreation Area. The camp is located on a scenic lake that offers excellent recreation and fishing. This restoration project will reopen the camp to families as a year-round facility that can accommodate more than 140 people.
“When we talked about where to launch Racing For Wildlife, we naturally thought about partnering with Michigan International Speedway,” Newman said. “Last summer, MIS President Roger Curtis and I talked about our shared interest in conservation, and the track has been a generous supporter of the Ryan Newman Foundation in the past. Plus, I grew up just a few hours away from this area, so this first campaign really hits close to home for me.”
Racing For Wildlife unites the NASCAR community with passionate land and water conservationists across the country. The Conservation Fund and the Ryan Newman Foundation, through this partnership, are leading the effort to create an American land legacy for generations of race fans who love the outdoors.
“Ryan Newman is as passionate about the outdoors as he is talented at driving a race car,” Michigan International Speedway President Roger Curtis said. “Teaming with The Conservation Fund, one of America’s top land protection groups, to launch Racing For Wildlife will help inspire other drivers, NASCAR sponsors and millions of fans of all ages to protect, respect and enjoy America’s wildlife habitats. We’re thrilled that Racing For Wildlife has chosen Mill Lake Youth Camp as its first of many projects because the area surrounding MIS is truly a state park setting that deserves protection and support.”
Each year, Racing For Wildlife will pursue a new conservation project that offers recreational opportunities near urban areas so families can easily enjoy the outdoors in protected places. In selecting conservation projects, Racing For Wildlife will work with local land conservation groups and wildlife management agencies to find opportunities that fulfill state-recognized conservation priorities while inviting a new generation to experience the outdoors.
“Today in Michigan and in the future, across the country, Racing For Wildlife will provide new opportunities for kids and families to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors,” Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund said. “Racing for Wildlife is exciting because we’re inviting all motor sports enthusiasts to join us in saving America’s wildlife lands. Racing families — whether they fish or hike, canoe or just relax outside — can help save and restore the lands that we all enjoy. We thank our partners for making this terrific project possible.”
DNR Director Rebecca Humphries added: “Getting folks outside, especially our young people, is what the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is all about. We are excited to work with Ryan Newman, The Conservation Fund and Michigan International Speedway on a project that will encourage outdoor recreation. When people spend time outdoors, they become more invested in our natural resources. They become good conservation stewards, interested in protecting and preserving our great outdoor places for their children and grandchildren.”
CARFAX, host of this weekend’s CARFAX 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway, is one of the first companies to voice its support for Racing For Wildlife.
“CARFAX is honored the Ryan Newman Foundation and The Conservation Fund have chosen today, just hours prior to the CARFAX 250, to announce their exciting Racing for Wildlife program in cooperation with MIS,” Dick Raines, president of the company, said. “CARFAX looks forward to supporting this important wildlife conservation and education program in the months ahead as the renovation of the Mill Lake Youth Camp begins.”
To find out more about Racing For Wildlife or to make a donation, visit www.racingforwildlife.org.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
NASCAR driver Ryan Newman announced an exciting new conservation program today during a press conference at Michigan International Speedway: Racing For Wildlife.
Ryan Newman and the #12 ALLTEL Dodge team had their third practice at Michigan International Speedway today for the NASCAR Nextel Cup 3M Performance 400.
Newman was 16 in practice with a speed of 184.421 mph / 39.041 sec.
Newman was -0.612 seconds behind the leader Carl Edwards who had a practice time of 187.359 / 38.429.
Practice 1 Results
Practice 2 Results
Practice 3 Results
Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 ALLTEL Dodge Penske Racing Team in the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway
Ryan Newman and the #12 ALLTEL Dodge team had their seodnd practice at Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Nextel Cup 3M Performance 400.
Newman was 13 in practice with a speed of 185.629 mph / 38.787 sec.
Newman was -0.573 seconds behind the leader Carl Edwards who had a practice time of 188.413 / 38.214.
Practice 1 Results
Practice 2 Results
Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 ALLTEL Dodge Penske Racing Team in the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway
Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, qualified 34th)
How did it go?
“I wish we would have had a little bit better of a qualifying run. Going out second, it makes it a little difficult, but it’s a fun race track. It’s a fun area. I enjoy the outdoors the fishing and everything else. It’s a good place for all that. Hopefully it’s a good place for us come Sunday.”
Ryan Newman has qualified 34 for the 3M Performance 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Newman had a speed of 184.947 / 38.93 / -0.84.
Newman was -0.84 seconds behind the Pole setter Jeff Gordon who had a qualifying time of 189.026 / 38.09.
Newman's qualifying time is not anything to worry about. The track was consistantly picking up speed all day long for qualifying. Ryan was the second person to qualify. So, don't worry. We will keep an eye on the next practice speeds.
Plus, Newman this year Newman has started 39th, finished 8th at Las Vegas. Started 28th and finished 9th a Talladega. Started 30th and finished 6th at Richmond. Started 29th and finished 4th at Darlington. Granted, some of these tracks don't relate to Michigan at all, but Newman CAN come from behind to have some good finishes.
BAD NEWS - 80% of the races won at Michigan have come from a top ten start. Also, of course it worries me with Newman starting so far back. Not because of position, but because of all the traffic in front of him.....only takes one idiot to take out 10 cars.
Newman has not started under the 15th position since the Coca-Cola 600. Don't if that is good or bad news.
Starting positions of drivers that Nemwan is competing for 12th in the points standings -
2 Greg Biffle
14 Martin Truex Jr.
15 Kurt Busch
39 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
CONGRATS TO MICHAEL WALTRIP. I like Mike. He is starting in the 11th position. He was as high as 4th in qualifying, but as the day went on, he dropped as well.
*********FOLLOWING DID NOT QUALIFY********************
44 36 Jeremy Mayfield / Toyota 360 OTC
45 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota / UPS
46 78 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet / Furniture Row Racing
47 37 Kevin Lepage Dodge / Front Row Motorsports
48 84 A.J. Allmendinger* / Toyota Red Bull
Practice 1 Results
Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge Penske Racing Team in the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 17, 2007) Throughout 2007, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman haven't been very lucky when it comes to the qualifying draw and Friday at Michigan International Speedway was no exception.
Newman was the second of 48 drivers to make his timed run on the hot 2-mile track and Busch was eighth. When qualifying had ended, Newman's Alltel Dodge Charger was in the 34th starting position for Sunday's 3M Performance 400, while Busch's Miller Lite Dodge Charger sat 15th.
As has been the case for many times along the circuit this season, it was definitely a situation of luck of the draw here in qualifying today, Busch said after his 38.590-second, 186.577-mph lap. We were ninth in practice, picked up a little even in the heat of the day and wound up 15th.
It was quite a bit cooler there at the end of the session and you have to think that we'd been faster if we had gone out much later. Not taking anything from [pole winner] Jeff [Gordon], he ran a great lap and deserves getting himself another pole, but it was definitely an advantage having a late draw here today."
Gordon was the last driver to make his qualifying run.
After the day's lone practice session ended, it appeared Newman and Busch might both contend for the pole. Newman's Alltel Dodge Charger was seventh quickest, while Busch's Miller Lite Dodge was ninth fastest in practice.
Something that we did after practice is not working for our car, Newman said after recording his lap of 184.947 mph, 38.930 seconds. I almost crashed going into turns one and two during my qualifying lap. After being seventh fastest in practice, starting 34th is a little disappointing, but we'll find out what the problem is during Saturday's practice sessions and fix it and hopefully, we'll be able to move through the field quickly on Sunday and get a good finish, as we inch closer to a Chase spot.
Like Newman, Busch is banking on a good run Sunday, as the season draws closer to the Chase for the Championship. Only four races remain to determine the top 12 that will contend for the title.
We're looking for a nice, solid, consistent run here on Sunday. This race track here, the race fans should be proud of it. You can race in the middle or you can race low. You can race in the low groove or you can race in the high groove; you just go where the other cars aren¿t. That¿s what makes Michigan International Speedway so exciting. I¿m looking forward to a good run. You have to have a fast car to win here and I hope my Dodge is fast.
Saturday's action at MIS has practice sessions from 10-10:50 a.m. and from 1:50-2:50 p.m. Sunda'¿s 3M Performance 400 has a 2 p.m. EDT starting time with live coverage by ESPN and MRN Radio.
Alltel Racing Report on Alltel Racings You Tube Page.
Newman heads to one of his favorite tracks-Michigan International Speedway
I have added Alltel Racings You Tube page to my Links List.
For only the second time in 13 starts at Michigan International Speedway, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, will start outside the top 12 for Sunday’s 3M Performance 400.
Newman’s only other start below the 12th position at the 2-mile track occurred last year in June when Newman spun in turns three and four before completing his first lap. Newman started 42nd and finished 15th after rain shortened the race to 129 laps.
“Something that we did after practice is not working for our car,” Newman said after climbing from the Alltel Dodge. “I almost crashed going into turns one and two during my qualifying lap. After being seventh fastest in practice, starting 34th is a little disappointing, but we’ll find out what the problem is during Saturday’s practice sessions and fix it and hopefully, we’ll be able to move through the field quickly on Sunday and get a good finish as we inch closer to a Chase spot.”
Newman, who went out second in Friday’s qualifying session, was 0.840 second off the pole speed of 189.026 mph set by Jeff Gordon.
Sunday’s 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway will be broadcast live by ESPN and MRN Radio with coverage beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.
at 12:01 AM
Friday, August 17, 2007
Ryan Newman and the #12 ALLTEL Dodge team had their first practice at Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Nextel Cup 3M Performance 400.
Newman was 7 in practice with a speed of 186.485 mph / 38.609 sec.
Newman was -0.218 seconds behind the leader Kasey Kahne who had a practice time of 187.544 / 38.391.
Good luck to Ryan Newman and the #12 ALLTEL Dodge Penske Racing Team in the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway
Not a good omen, but a minor nuisance compared to the team's long-term problem.
AT&T officials followed their legal option Friday of asking the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the ruling from earlier this week. The court sided with NASCAR and threw out a lower court ruling that allowed the AT&T logo on the car.
Cingular, which was the primary sponsor for Burton, merged with AT&T and eliminated the Cingular brand.
NASCAR officials said Richard Childress Racing could not change the logos on the No. 31 because of exclusivity rights for Cup series title sponsor Nextel.
"This case has never been about NASCAR's right to grant exclusivity," Burton said Friday. "That's never been questioned. The question on this case has everything to do with what AT&T was told they could and could not do."
Cingular and Alltel (which sponsors the No. 12 Dodge driven by Ryan Newman) were granted a grandfather clause and allowed to continue their sponsorship agreements after Nextel became the Cup series title sponsor in 2004.
"I don't think anybody in this sport has a problem with the exclusivity that NASCAR can grant, including AT&T," Burton said. "We respect NASCAR's right to grant exclusivity. The sport has benefited from that, no question.
"But it's AT&T's interpretation that they never were told they could not change the brand."
The latest ruling puts the sponsorship situation on Burton's car uncertain for the future.
"We have no choice but to think about the 'what if?'" Burton said. "We just signed a long-term commitment with them. They've told us over and over they want to be with us.
"But this ruling is another hurdle, or a hurdle, that they have to jump over. We don't know what it all means at this point."
If the appeals court refuses to reconsider it's ruling, as expected, AT&T probably won't be on Burton's car next weekend at Bristol.
"I know AT&T is committed to us," Burton said. "But this ruling makes that more challenging.
"There is a reality if AT&T isn't allowed to put their logos on the car, it may not be beneficial for AT&T anymore. At that point, something might have to change. We just don't know."
Burton believes this lawsuit will have an impact on NASCAR regardless of the final outcome.
"The concerns that are being questioned in this case need to be spelled out more clearly in the future," Burton said. "This case certainly requires NASCAR to look at things differently to make sure everything is spelled out very clearly to everyone so we don't have this situation again.
"It's NASCAR's charge to do what's best for the overall good of the sport. We respect that. It's our charge to make sure we have the funding that it takes to have race teams. And I think NASCAR respects that."
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Although the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an injunction permitting the logos, AT&T still has time to request a reconsideration of the ruling, and until that process is over, it can keep the logos on the car. AT&T is expected to ask for the reconsideration Friday.
"This weekend, we will be running the car with the AT&T brand," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said late Thursday afternoon while declining to discuss the company's legal strategy. "The legal process is moving along. I can't predict what will happen after [this weekend].
"We respect the decision the court has made, and we're looking at a variety of options."
AT&T has argued that NASCAR's grandfather clause for telecommunications sponsors, enacted in 2004 when Nextel became the series sponsor, allows it to change the logos from Cingular to AT&T on the Jeff Burton car.
NASCAR claims it does not allow for the change, which AT&T wants since it was involved in a merger with Cingular in December 2006.
The original injunction was issued on the basis that AT&T was considered a third-party beneficiary of the grandfather cause included in RCR's annual licensing contract with NASCAR.
The appellate court ruled that because the grandfather clause was written to allow RCR to keep a sponsor - and not for the benefit of Cingular (now AT&T) to be on a car - that AT&T was not part of the contract and could not sue under breach-of-contract grounds.
Once the injunction phase is over, NASCAR and AT&T eventually could go to trial over the issue. NASCAR has countersued AT&T for $100 million.
Newman, who hails from South Bend, Ind. raced at one of those tracks a couple of weeks ago when the NEXTEL Cup hit the famed Indianapolis Speedway.
Newman arrives at his other "home track" this week, as Michigan is the next stop on the "Race to the Chase."
With just four races remaining until NASCAR heads into its post season, Newman is on the outside looking in - but just barely.
The Top 12 drivers will race for a championship over the final 10 races of the 2007 season.
Newman is currently 13th, just 92 points behind teammate Kurt Busch.
Although both are fighting to earn a spot in the championship chase, Newman said he doesn't look at it that way.
"Well, my best answer for you there is we're not competing against each other," he said Tuesday during a NASCAR teleconference. "We've got two teams going for the last two spots in the Chase. That's the way we look at it. Obviously we're 92 points out of 12th. But Kurt is not too far behind 11th and 10th. Close to us, so, with four races to go, there's still opportunity for both of us to get in the Chase."
Newman is looking forward to Michigan because he has tasted victory here on a couple of occasions.
"Well, I think we've got a good opportunity. You know, this past weekend was a great opportunity. We didn't per se capitalize on it but we mid some small gains," he said. "Just look forward to Michigan. It's a fun racetrack to race at as far as a driver goes. You can do some really good racing there. Like you said, we've been in Victory Lane before.
"Just hopefully we're still looking for not only our first win of the season, but our first win of the last two seasons. We've got some work ahead of us. I think we'll have some capabilities. Just a matter of getting the job done," he added.
Even though he isn't in the Top 12 at this point in the season, Newman does think that the Chase format has been good for racing.
"I think the fans that follow the sport every week definitely feel that. I feel that just from them. I've had plenty of fans come up to me and talk to me about it. Yeah, there's very much merit in saying that," he said.
So with the teams getting ready to tackle Michigan International Speedway, Newman is ready to make his move for a spot in the "Chase for the Championship."
Sunday's race can be seen live on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m.
at 12:02 PM
In 2003, the young Penske Racing driver was teammates with one of the most heralded drivers in racing history, was winning poles at a clip of about one every three races and was making a home in Victory Lane.
Times sure have changed.
With a bunch of new faces around him, Newman is clinging to the hope that he can drive the No. 12 Alltel Dodge into the Chase for the Championship over the next four races starting with Sunday's 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Just four years ago, with veteran Rusty Wallace as his teammate, Newman captured an astounding 11 poles and won eight races. The only other active drivers in the last 10 years to win eight or more races in a season are Jimmie Johnson, who won eight in 2004, and Jeff Gordon, who won 13 in 1998.
Newman did not expect to win eight races the next season. He expected to win more.
"I thought we would do better the next year and better the year after," Newman said. "That's just the way it would work."
It didn't. Newman's team underwent numerous changes over the course of the next few years, including the biggest when crew chief Matt Borland was replaced before this season by Mike Nelson. Results have been slow to come. Newman won a total of three races and finished in the top five 19 total times in 2004 and 2005. During the past two seasons, he has no victories and five top-fives.
That's part of the reason he's 13th in the standings with only four races left to determine the 12 drivers who make the Chase.
He also developed a rather bitter feud with Wallace, who retired from full-time racing after the 2005 season. The volatile Kurt Busch is now his Penske teammate, not that it matters much to Newman.
"I still feel as a driver I'm fully capable of winning those eight races plus per year," Newman said. "The team and the people are what make the difference. We've had pretty much every member of the team, besides the truck driver, change positions or we have new people.
"We're kind of starting over."
Starting is one thing, finishing is another. And that's something that's kept Newman's seasons from being better than they have. In his eight-win season of 2003, he finished just sixth in points due to seven DNFs. He had nine more the next year when he was seventh in points.
Such poor finishes have not been an issue for Newman at MIS. He owns two victories and two other top-five finishes with one DNF in 12 starts there.
"I think we've got a good opportunity," Newman said. "It's a fun racetrack to race as far as a driver goes. You can do some really good racing there. Just a matter of getting the job done."
Or maybe not.
Even though a federal appeals court Monday ruled against AT&T's claim that it can put its logo on Burton's car, a company spokesman said Tuesday that AT&T expects its paint scheme to remain on Burton's car this weekend.
As for the next steps in court, AT&T spokesman Mark A. Siegel said, "We are currently looking at all our legal options."
Monday's ruling vacated a federal judge's May decision that stopped NASCAR from interfering with AT&T putting its logo and brand on Burton's car.
One of NASCAR's winning lawyers, Richard L. Robbins of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, said he hopes AT&T won't pursue further legal action. "Obviously, one issue is what happens with the race this weekend," said Robbins, "and our hope is that AT&T decides to honor the 11th Circuit opinion."
Admittedly caught in the middle is the car's owner, Richard Childress Racing, or RCR.
"I don't want to say what will happen Sunday," demurred Winston-Salem, N.C., lawyer W. Andrew Copenhaver of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, which represents RCR.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
-- Last year, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart shared big fish stories with more than 300 fishermen at the inaugural Ryan Newman Foundation Celebrity Charity Fishing Tournament sponsored by Ranger Boats at Blythe Landing in Huntersville, N.C., on Dec. 16, 2006. The charity bass tournament raised more than $40,000 for the Ryan Newman Foundation Endowment, which will be a source for grants to non-profit organizations that fulfill the Foundation¿s mission.
Newman fished Lake Norman with FLW Angler of the Year Anthony Gagliardi in his Alltel-wrapped Ranger Boat. Newman and Stewart were joined on the FLW Outdoors stage by Ranger Boats Founder Forrest Wood during the awards ceremony, sponsored by Alltel. Fisherman Brian Morgan and Michael Fox of Newton, N.C., won the grand prize, a 519VX Ranger Boat with a VZ200TLR HPDI Yamaha motor, valued at $35,000.
This year, the fishing tournament will be Dec. 8, 2007. Tournament registration and the VIP reception and auction will be on the evening of Friday, Dec. 7, 2007. For further details about the fishing tournament, please visit www.ryannewmanfoundation.org.
-- Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, will make his 13th Cup start at Michigan International Speedway. It will be his 211th career start in the Cup Series.
-- Newman has an average start of 9.1 and an average finish of 16.7. Only one of Newman¿s starts has been lower than 12th , a 42nd in June 2006 after Newman spun in turn three before completing his first lap. Two starts were from 12th and the remaining 10 have all been from the top 10.
-- Newman has four finishes in the top five, including two wins. He has four other finishes inside the top 15 and four of 25th or lower.
-- Newman has led 91 laps in seven races at MIS. He has completed 2,161 laps of a possible 2,329. Newman has a completion rate of 92.8 percent at the Brooklyn, Mich., track since he made his debut at the speedway.
-- Crew chief Mike Nelson and the Alltel team will take chassis PRS-108 to Michigan as its primary car. This car is the same one Newman drove in Chicago in July when he qualified third and finished eighth. Chassis PRS-110 is the backup. This car was tested in Kentucky earlier this year, but it has not been raced. It is a new car.
Ryan On Michigan: I always like racing at Michigan. I¿ve always said that this is my home track, so being there is like going home to race in front of my hometown crowd.¿
We're in the hunt for the Chase and each week it feels like we¿re getting closer and closer to moving into that 12th spot. We've only got four more races left, so this whole team is working extremely hard to do our best and make it into the Chase this year. I think we have a really good chance of doing that and being in contention for a championship run.
Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge will be racing here this weekend in the 3M Performance 400.
Michigan International Speedway
-Location : Brooklyn, MI
-Completed : 1968
-Distance : 2 miles
-Shape : D-shaped oval
-Seating : 137,243
-Nextel Cup Top Race Speed : 173.997 by Dale Jarrett on 6/13/1999
-Nextel Cup Top Qualifying Speed : 194.232 by Ryan Newman on 6/18/2005
MANUFATURER WINS AT Michigan International Speedway SINCE 2002
DODGE = 4
FORD = 7
CHEVROLET = 0
RYAN NEWMAN'S STATS AT Michigan International Speedway
|Ryan Newman's Stats|
|At 0||At Intermediate Tracks|
In the June race at Michigan Ryan Newman started 4th and ended 37th after having a tire go down. The tire ended up wrapping around his calipers and rotors eventually putting Nemwan 3 laps down.
Newman needs a real good finish here in order to help his chances in the race. He has 2 wins here at Michigan and this is a perfect time for him to get his third.
Good luck to Ryan Newman and the Penske Racing's #12 Alltel Dodge NASCAR Nextel Cup Team at Michigan International Speedway for the 3M Performance 400 this coming week and weekend!!!
Driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Ryan Newman and XM Satellite Radio Host Claire B. Lang catch up to discuss a very unusual road course race from Watkins Glen International. After plowing off course early in the race a strong finish inched Newman within less than 100 points of making the Chase.
During the Podcast he chats with Lang about being the car on the 'bubble.' They also discuss Newman's new home and his 'Man Cave' or man-only room. In addition, Newman provides fans with advice on his favorite fishing reel, as well as answers questions from the Alltel All Axcess Racing Mailbag.
Finally, Newman previews the upcoming race at Michigan International Speedway, where the No. 12 Alltel Dodge has entered victory lane twice before.
Instead, they say they are fighting a lot of other drivers for spots to get both of them in the 12-driver field that will compete for the NASCAR championship.
Entering Sunday's 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Busch holds that final Chase spot while Newman is 13th, 96 points behind him.
Yet they don't plan to change the way they operate or alter the team dynamic at all. If anything, Newman and Busch are working together even more closely in an effort to boost the performance of both.
"We're not competing against each other," Newman said Tuesday during a national teleconference. "We've got two teams going for the last two spots in the Chase. That's the way we look at it. Obviously we're  points out of 12th, but Kurt is not too far behind 11th and 10th. ... With four races to go, there's still opportunity for both of us to get in the Chase."
Both Newman and Busch have ramped up their performance in recent weeks. After falling to 17th in the standings following a 100-point penalty, Busch has rallied to the 12th spot after finishing no worse than 11th in the last five races. That's a stretch that includes a win and finishes of third and sixth.
Newman hasn't been as solid, but the team has gained ground as well. After dropping as low as 26th in the standings, he's up to 13th on the strength of three top-10 finishes in the last six races. He also has a 13th and a 14th-place finish in that stretch, but his 42nd-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after being caught up in a crash interrupted his recent surge.
So what's the difference?
"Just teamwork," Newman said. "The cars' performances. The new Dodge nose/hood combination has definitely been a big thing for us. It's been a lot of little things in the honest truth."
Ryan Newman will make his 13th Cup start at Michigan International Speedway in Sunday's 3M Performance 400. It will be his 211th career start in the Cup Series.
Newman has an average start of 9.1 and an average finish of 16.7. Only one of Newman's starts has been lower than 12th - a 42nd in June 2006 after he spun in turn three before completing his first lap. Two starts were from 12th and the remaining 10 have all been from the top 10.
Two of Newman's four top-five finishes resulted in victories at the 2-mile speedway. He has two other finishes inside the top 15 and four of 25th or lower.
"I always like racing at Michigan. I've always said that this is my home track, so being there is like going home to race in front of my hometown crowd," Newman said.
The No. 12 Alltel team is bringing chassis PRS-108 to the track this weekend. This is the same car Newman drove in Chicago in July to an eighth-place finish.
"We're in the hunt for the Chase and each week it feels like we're getting closer and closer to moving into that 12th spot," Newman said. "We've only got four more races left, so this whole team is working extremely hard to do our best and make it into the Chase this year. I think we have a really good chance of doing that and being in contention for a championship run."
At Michigan, Newman has led 91 laps in seven races. He has completed 2,161 laps of a possible 2,329, contributing to his 92.8% completion rate at the Brooklyn, Mich. track.
Sunday's 200-lap 3M Performance 400 takes the green flag at 2 p.m. (ET). Qualifying is set for Friday at 3:10 p.m. (ET).
The talk is similar to the month leading up to the NCAA basketball tournament, but instead of bubble teams, it's all about bubble drivers.
Only the top 12 drivers in the Nextel Cup standings after the Sept. 8 race at Richmond qualify for the 10-race Chase for the championship, and 2004 champion Kurt Busch currently resides in 12th place with four races left before the cutoff.
Busch trails 11th-place Martin Truex Jr. by 58 points and is 96 points ahead of Penske Racing teammate Ryan Newman, who is 13th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 14th, four points behind Newman.
"We're in the hunt for the Chase and each week it feels like we're getting closer and closer to moving into that 12th spot," Newman said Tuesday.
Bubble drivers use Matt Kenseth's remarkable 2005 rally for inspiration. After Watkins Glen, Kenseth was 16th and 165 points out of the 10th and final Chase qualifying spot. Four weeks later, he was eighth.
RYAN NEWMAN: Nothing. I mean, the only thing you can really say is you go for it a little bit more, maybe you gamble a little bit more. We're in the position now where we've got to gamble a little bit as it is.
For us in that position, nothing. It's just a matter of, like I said, going out and doing the best job we possibly can each and every week. Right now Daytona 500 is no different than this week going into the 400 at Michigan. It's just, you know, easy to think of things you'd try to do different or say different, but you really just have to go out there and try to win the race.
Q. With you and Kurt battling for that final Chase spot, how does that change the dynamic of the teamwork? Is it fair to say that 'teammates' only mean so much when there's so much on the line?
RYAN NEWMAN: Well, my best answer for you there is we're not competing against each other. We've got two teams going for the last two spots in the Chase. That's the way we look at it. Obviously we're 92 points out of 12th. But Kurt is not too far behind 11th and 10th. Close to us, so. With four races to go, there's still opportunity for both of us to get in the Chase.
Q. With regards to the Dodge this year, it's been an up-and-down year. Your teammate got a victory at Pocono, but still struggled at times. Can you talk about that, talk about it in relation to how your team's performance has been this year?
RYAN NEWMAN: Our team's performance I think has been good. It's been way better than last year. The second part of that is just our finishes, our consistency, hasn't been the greatest. That's what got us into this position now as far as points go.
We've proven we can be very competitive every given week. It's just a matter of getting those finishes for us it seems.
Q. You probably saw today that Kyle Busch announced he'll join Joe Gibbs next year, which can be interesting considering the relationship he and Tony have had back and forth. Since you sort of had a teammate relationship a couple years ago that wasn't exactly buddy-buddy, how distracting or counterproductive can that be to the team when that's going on? What's the very least you expect from a teammate on and off the track even if you aren't friends?
RYAN NEWMAN: Well, I know that it can be very productive or counterproductive. I've experienced both. Kurt has been a great teammate the last two years. He's taught me some things. I think I've taught him some things. In the end, you know, a teammate can make or break your performance. It's extremely important to have a good relationship. It's extremely important to maintain that relationship as well.
Q. You've been around before the Chase points system, now after it. Do you think the fans feel the excitement and stress of making a Chase like drivers and teams do?
RYAN NEWMAN: I think the fans that follow the sport every week definitely feel that. I feel that just from them. I've had plenty of fans come up to me and talk to me about it. Yeah, there's very much merit in saying that.
Q. It appears you and Kurt Busch are sharing your information on the track as opposed to when you were a teammate with Rusty Wallace. Is it harder for a two-car team to stay competitive now in the NEXTEL Cup?
RYAN NEWMAN: Without a doubt, we're sharing more information. Our teams are getting along great. I mean, it's not just the drivers. It's the teams and the organization that has a lot to do with that.
But, yeah, it's definitely helped us to have a better performance, to be where we're at in the Chase, you know, in the Chase for the Championship.
Q. It seems like the 10 bonus points being added for wins has really kind of changed the way guys are approaching it if they're locked into the Chase at this point. Is that the way you view it? Do you think that's been a good thing for the sport?
RYAN NEWMAN: You know, I think it's NASCAR's twist on it this year for making more emphasis on winning. For me personally it hasn't change the way I raced in saying that. We're not in position to say that we're a championship team right now.
To me the best answer, I don't think that it has. But, you know, we'll see how it all plays out this year.
Q. After you won eight races in 2003, did you think you were going to come close to that every year? Did you think you'd be close to that productive in ensuing years?
RYAN NEWMAN: I thought we would do better the next year and better the year after. That's just the way it would work.
But, you know, I still feel as a driver I'm fully capable of winning those eight races plus per year. The team and the people are what make the difference. We've had pretty much every member of the team, besides the truck driver, change positions or we have new people. We're kind of starting over. We are rebuilding. 2003 was pretty much the last year we had that full-time group of guys we had in 2002.
Q. What is happening better at Penske that you are picking up the steam? What sorts of things are clicking over there?
RYAN NEWMAN: Just teamwork. The cars' performances. The new Dodge nose/hood combination has definitely been a big thing for us. It's been a lot of little things is the honest truth. Personnel-wise, like I said, we've had a lot of change of personnel on our team. The two cars had a rough season from a crew chief standpoint with Roy McCauley's wife getting sick and having to go through a series of changes there. Through it all, I think our teams have been strong and performing well together.
Q. Since you're one of only a couple teams that have two cars on the track, is it harder for a two-car team to compete in the NEXTEL Cup now?
RYAN NEWMAN: It's hard for me to say because I've never really competed as a four-car team. I think our two-car team is extremely sufficient and efficient as far as performance. Are there advantages with a three-or four-car team? Yes. Are there disadvantages? Yes. It's just a matter of how good, how good an organization, and how organized that organization is to be able to capitalize on the capital.
Q. With Kurt's win at Pocono, everybody talks about momentum from team to team, but are you able to feed off that even though it wasn't your win?
RYAN NEWMAN: I'd say no. They hit everything right. They had a fast car. They did a great job, put themselves in position for the win and won. We were close to doing it the first race. We were close to doing that at Dover. We've been close a few other times this year, we just haven't done it.
It's pretty much our own momentum that has to carry itself. You can't rely on the other team's because you're competing against them.
Q. We've seen Jeff Gordon spin last week, Tony Stewart. Is it distracting when you drive by a teammate that has spun?
RYAN NEWMAN: No, not really. Doesn't distract me. I felt bad when I spun the car out running whatever I was, sixth, eighth, 10th, whatever it was there at the beginning of the race when I got off track and went through the sand. Then when I realized that Stewart did it going into one and Gordon did it late, as least I was in some good company.
HERB BRANHAM: Ryan Newman, best of luck to you this weekend. Had a lot of success at Michigan. Looks like a good time when you're right on the outside of the top 12 to be going back to that track, get you set up for the remainder of the races leading up to the Chase. Who knows, if you qualify, then the Chase itself. Good luck to you.
RYAN NEWMAN: Thanks, Herb.
HERB BRANHAM: Thanks to all the media for joining in today. As always, we appreciate the coverage.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
It's all about finishing in the top 12 in the standings -- the drivers in that group make the Chase -- when the checkered flag flies Sept. 8 in Richmond, Va. Although it is mathematically possible for Greg Biffle and Casey Mears to make the Chase, at 212 and 298 points out of 12th, respectively, they are likely racing for the $1 million bonus that goes to the driver who finishes 13th at the end of the season.
Here's how the drivers on the Chase bubble fared:
9. Clint Bowyer
Position before race -- 10
Chase points safety margin -- 234
Breakdown -- All but a lock to make the Chase at this point, Bowyer got a 16th-place finish at Watkins Glen and heads to Michigan with the confidence of knowing the dreaded road courses are behind him.
10. Kevin Harvick
Position before race -- 9
Chase points safety margin -- 222
Breakdown -- Collected in a late crash by Juan Pablo Montoya, Harvick had a car that could have contended for a top-5 at the very least. He's still a safe Chase bet.
11. Martin Truex Jr.
Position before race -- 11
Chase points safety margin -- 154
Breakdown -- Increased his safety margin by 109 points with a solid sixth-place finish. He needed a good day to stave off not only Kurt Busch, but more importantly teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Truex got what he needed.
12. Kurt Busch
Position before race -- 12
Chase points safety margin -- 96
Breakdown -- He picked up a whopping 89-point cushion over last week, and now his nearest pursuer is teammate Ryan Newman, not Earnhardt. He cost himself a shot at contending with a speeding penalty on pit road on his final stop at Watkins Glen, but finishing 11th still got the job done.
13. Ryan Newman
Position before race -- 14
Points out of Chase -- 96
Breakdown -- Busch's Penske teammate actually lost six points on the 12th spot in the standings, but he did manage to pass another driver. Newman has four races to make up ground, and the Penske garage will be watching Truex very closely the next few weeks.
14. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Position before race -- 13
Points out of Chase -- 100
Breakdown -- Disaster struck -- again. Needing a good day to hang with Busch (Earnhardt started the day a scant seven points out of the Chase), Junior blew a motor -- again. He was running as high as second in the race, and a good finish seemed in the cards. Now, the No. 8 team has little margin for error, and has to hope the worst for at least two other drivers.
Currently, all race entries are placed in to a'lottery type' format to decide qualifying order and all entries must qualify against one another. But, not for long. Beginning with the first Chase race at New Hampshire, teams inside the top 35 in owner points will qualify separately from teams outside of the Top 35. Teams inside the Top 35 will qualify first with teams outside of the Top 35 qualifying later in the day.
In the event of a rain out after Top 35 qualifying is over, the remaining eight spots will be decided by owner points and past champion's provisional's. If qualifying is completely rained out, NASCAR will still revert back to owner points.
I totatlly disagree with the court --- in case you wanted my opinion!!!
ATLANTA -- A ruling by a federal appeals court cleared the way for NASCAR to prevent AT&T Inc. from featuring its logo on Jeff Burton's No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday in its order that San Antonio-based AT&T lacks standing to challenge NASCAR's decision.
The court, therefore, threw out a lower court's ruling that prevented NASCAR from stopping AT&T's plans. The appeals court remanded the case to the U.S. District Court in Atlanta for dismissal.
At issue is AT&T's desire to change the Cingular logo on Burton's car to the AT&T logo. AT&T bought Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp. last year, gaining full control of Cingular and has since rebranded the cell phone provider under the AT&T name.
NASCAR has tried to prevent the Cingular logo from being changed to the AT&T logo on Burton's car because AT&T rival Sprint Nextel Corp. sponsors NASCAR's premier series, the Nextel Cup, and has exclusive rights as the telecommunications company for the series.
Attorneys for NASCAR and Sprint Nextel have argued the only exceptions are companies, including Cingular, that already sponsored cars when Nextel reached its agreement with NASCAR.
"Because Cingular [now AT&T Mobility] was neither a party to nor an intended beneficiary of the [grandfather clause], it has not itself suffered a legally cognizable injury as a result of NASCAR's interpretation," the three-judge panel wrote in its unanimous decision to overturn the May 18 decision of U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Shoob.
Cingular's parent has argued that its rights included changing its brand name to AT&T.
In May, Shoob issued a preliminary injunction barring NASCAR and any entity affiliated with it from interfering with AT&T's rights as primary sponsor of the Burton car in NASCAR Cup Series races.
In his ruling regarding Burton's car, Shoob said, "The court concludes that the continued appearance of the Cingular brand on the No. 31 car, unaccompanied by any indication that Cingular now does business as AT&T, is likely to confuse NASCAR fans."
Shoob also concluded that AT&T has shown it will suffer irreparable harm in the form of loss of goodwill and loss of exclusive rights to renew its sponsorship agreement unless the court issues the injunction.
But the federal appeals court lifted the injunction Monday, saying in part that under Georgia law AT&T was not a third-party beneficiary of an agreement between NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing and, as a result, it lacks standing to challenge NASCAR's interpretation of that agreement.
The case, which includes a $100 million countersuit by NASCAR against AT&T, is still scheduled to go to trial.
Monday, August 13, 2007
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – The 90-lap race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday nearly turned into a 90-lap circus before the checkered flag waved. Drivers got into shoving matches, an extended red-flag period to clean up oil and debris in turn one had crew members wondering if they should take rags to the site to help move things along, and a fan ran down to the stopped cars for an autograph.
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, had his own share of excitement during the 220.5-mile race. Newman, whose car sported a special Kodak paint scheme, finished 13th. Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet, won the race.
Earlier in the weekend, Newman fought off a tenacious Andy Lally in the closing laps of Saturday's Zippo 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen to bring his No. 12 Dodge Charger home in ninth place. It was the second top-10 finish for Newman in five Busch Series races this season.
Sunday's field was set by owners' points after rain canceled Friday's qualifying session and Newman started 15th. Eleven laps into the event, the Dodge Avenger wheel-hopped entering turn 10 and sent the Indiana native spinning into the gravel pit. Fortunately, he kept the tires rolling and made it out on his own, carrying about 20 pounds of debris with him on the car's splitter. David Ragan was not as lucky and he spun into the same gravel pit shortly after Newman. The first of eight caution periods began on lap 12, providing Newman the opportunity to come into the pits to fix his car.
A brake duct was damaged in the spin, forcing Newman to pit before pit road was open and that resulted in a penalty. NASCAR officials ordered him to the rear of the longest line and that sent him to the 41st position for the race's restart on lap 14.
Although Newman's car was tight going through the 11-turn road course, he was still able to pick up a few spots before the next caution flew for debris on lap 23. Crew chief Mike Nelson brought Newman back onto pit road for adjustments to free up the car, giving him one round of wedge out of the left rear, one round of wedge in the right rear and two rounds up on the right-side track bar along with a full tank of fuel. This stop put the team back on its original pit strategy and moved Newman to 21st for the race's restart on lap 26.
The car was loose when he returned to the track, but he was able to make his way into the top 15 and hovered there until the third caution period began on lap 41.
Newman pitted for a third time to go back on the previous adjustments that had only hurt his car's balance. Nelson had the Alltel team put 1 1/2 rounds of wedge into the left rear, take 1 1/2 rounds of wedge out of the right rear and supply four fresh tires and fuel. Once again, Newman restarted near the rear of the field in 34th. Unfortunately, the changes didn't help his car once the field returned to green-flag conditions.
"The balance is no good," Newman told his crew on lap 49. "It's really loose off [turns] 10 and 11."
A few laps later, he was racing Clint Bowyer when both men suddenly found themselves in one of the winding track's gravel pits. Both, however, maintained their momentum and continued.
On Newman's fourth stop, Nelson gave him fuel only and went three rounds down on the right- side track bar. The quick stop allowed Newman to gain 15 spots and placed him 15th in the running order.
For 12 of the final 25 laps, the field ran under yellow-flag conditions as four caution periods occurred during that time frame. When a five-car accident occurred on lap 73, the clean-up was lengthy, even bringing out the red flag for 26 minutes 4 seconds as crews worked in turn one to clean up the oil that spilled onto the track. It was during this time that drivers Kevin Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya, who were involved in the incident, began yelling and shoving each other before NASCAR officials could come between them.
The lengthy cleanup created an antsy feeling among drivers and crewmembers, and left them wondering what they could do to accelerate the track clearing procedure. While the race was stopped, Matt Kenseth received a surprise when a fan ran through a grassy area to the track and shoved an object inside the car's window for Kenseth to autograph. Kenseth told the fan he was a little busy and eventually, the man gave up and left the car. Track security later took him away in handcuffs.
When the field finally received the green flag again, only 12 laps remained and Newman was in 16th. There was one more caution flag before the checkered flag waved, but when the race finally ended he had advanced to 13th. Due to engine troubles that eliminated Dale Earnhardt Jr. from the race, Newman moved into 13th in the drivers' standings, 96 points behind the Chase-eligible 12th position held by Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch.
Next weekend, Newman will drive the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway for the 3M Performance 400. ESPN and MRN Radio will broadcast the event at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 12, 2007) Kurt Busch strengthened his hold on 12th place in the standings with his 11th-place finish in Sunday's Centurion Boats at The Glen, while Ryan Newman gained a position with his 13th-place performance at Watkins Glen International.
With four races remaining before the "Chase for the Championship" begins, Busch leads 13th-place Newman by 96 points and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who dropped to 14th, by 100 points. Busch trails 11th-place Martin Truex Jr. by 58 points. Newman moved into the standings' 13th position due to Earnhardt Jr.'s Chevrolet losing an engine during the season's final road course race.
Even though both Penske Racing drivers improved themselves in the overall picture, it wasn't an easy 90-lap event on the 2.45-mile course for either competitor. Newman experienced handling issues with his Kodak Dodge Avenger and took two side trips into the gravel pits that provide run-off areas at various turns. The first occurred on lap 11 and the second shortly after the 50-lap mark when he and Clint Bowyer tangled. Newman also incurred a penalty after the first gravel pit excursion for pitting before pit road was open. That left him 41st on the lap 14 restart.
Fuel only and a chassis adjustment on Newman's fourth stop vaulted him into the top 15 where he remained for the final 25 laps.
"We're competitive, but I wasn't happy with the car today," Newman said. "It didn't drive the way it should have."
Newman noted his 13th-place finish helped in the point standings, but then added "we could have capitalized more."
"The balance wasn¿t good (in the car)," Newman continued. "I drove it off the race track, which got us behind and then we fought back with a good strategy. We just got beat around out there."
Busch's frustration stemmed from his car's poor fuel mileage and a speeding penalty on pit road.
Busch was running second in his Miller Lite Dodge Avenger on lap 65 when crew chief Pat Tryson called him down pit road for his final scheduled stop. Unfortunately, Busch was tagged with a speeding penalty on his exit and was sent to the rear of the longest line for the lap 67 restart.
Busch lined up 37th for the return to green-flag racing, and had made it back to 23rd when the race was red-flagged on lap 76 for a five-car crash that left debris and fluids in turn 1. After the race was stopped for 26 minutes 4 seconds, it resumed on lap 78. However, it went back under yellow on lap 80 when P.J. Jones spun into the gravel on the inner loop.
Busch was 18th on the lap 83 restart and was able to climb an additional seven spots during the remaining laps to post his 11th-place finish.
I realize that it was a good day for us in the points and all, but it really gets frustrating when you have a car as strong as we did here today and only get an 11th-place finish out of it, Busch said. We were running second and had a car strong enough to win here today, but the fuel mileage situation bit us again and we had to pit. Then, to top it off, we got a speeding penalty leaving the pits.
When I looked up there before we went back to racing after they pulled the red flag and saw the [No.] 07 car [Clint Bowyer] and the [No.] 1 car [Martin Truex Jr.] in front of me, I knew I had to do all I could to try to get around those guys. I raced my guts out 'til the very end and we still only got an 11th out of it. We have to get this fuel mileage deal figured out; we absolutely have to. With the way things went here today, we could have very well won the race. I know I¿ll calm down and see the big picture view of things later on, but it sure is frustrating to not finish any better.
Next weekend, the series moves to the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway for the 3M Performance 400. ESPN and MRN Radio will broadcast the race scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EDT.
During a late-race, red-flag period, a man ran up to Matt Kenseth's #17 Ford, reached through the passenger window and asked the driver to sign his hat. "He just said, 'Will you sign this?'" Kenseth was heard saying to his crew over the driver radio. "I'm like, 'I'm a little busy right now.'" The man, half inside the car window, asked again but Kenseth refused. The man finally gave up and ran — in a far from straight line — back toward the fans' area. He was soon arrested.
The man apparently gained access to the track by climbing over the large wire fence, ran across the grass, then stepped over the blue barrier at trackside.
RYAN NEWMAN (#12 KODAK/ALLTEL DODGE AVENGER) Finished 13th
HOW WAS YOUR DAY? “It helped in the points, but we could have capitalized more. The balance wasn’t good. I drove it off the racetrack, which got us behind and then we fought back with a good strategy. We just got beat around out there. If we wouldn’t have beat around, spun out and that type of stuff and lost four spots when the 15 flew. It’s amazing you got a car sideways in the middle of the racetrack there’s not a yellow but if you get a piece of debris then there is a yellow. I guess a car isn’t classified as a piece of debris anymore.
“We’re competitive, but I wasn’t happy with the car today. It didn’t drive the way it should have.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (#42 WRIGLEY’S BIG RED/TEXACO DODGE AVENGER) Finished 39th
Note: Montoya was involved in an on-track incident which sent him to the garage for repairs. He returned to the track with a handful of laps to go, only to have his clutch freeze, ending his day early.
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE TODAY? “We had a very long first gear. Our restarts were always slow. It’s a little disappointing because we had a really fast car. I went for the inside to defend against the No. 1 car and he spun me. When he spun me I got backwards into the 29. He got out of the car, came out disrespectful, saying all kinds things, grabbed me and I don’t appreciate that. I race very clean. I give people space and if you are not going to respect me I am not going to respect them either. It’s pretty disappointing to see a guy like that do such a thing.
“I went to Kevin and said ‘It wasn’t my fault. I got hit from behind.’ He started shouting and grabbing me and I don’t appreciate that. If it was my fault I would have gone and said, ‘It was my fault.’ I have a little respect for the guy, well I use to have a little respect for the guy like that, because he helped me a lot to start with. I tried to tell him this.”
WERE YOUR CHANCES GOOD UP TO THAT POINT OF THE RACE? “I think so. Our car in the longer runs was really fast and I was really taking care of the car and the breaks. It was really disappointing.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “We got spun by the No. 1 car and we collected the 29 and then the 31 collected us. It crushed our transmission, everything. We tried to fix it but we couldn’t.
HOW DISAPPOINTED ARE YOU? “It’s disappointing because we had a fast car. We thought we had a car that could win the race. We were conserving the car for the end of the race. We were in the top five. But that’s that.”
WHO WOULD HAVE WON THE FIGHT, IF THERE HAD BEEN A FIGHT? “I wouldn’t fight. I don’t fight.”
HOW TOUGH IS IT TO CONTROL YOUR TEMPER IN THAT SITUATION? “You’ve got to stand up for yourself but there’s a certain line you don’t want to cross – at least I don’t try to cross it.”
DONNIE WINGO (Crew Chief, No. 42 Wrigley’s Big Red/Texaco Dodge Avenger)
COULD YOU TELL WHAT CAUSED THE ACCIDENT? “Not really. We were having trouble getting started on the restarts. He kind of went to the bottom to defend his position and the No. 1 car got into him and spun him going down into one. Then he got him into those other cars.”
WHAT HAPPENED WITH HARVICK? “I don’t know what the deal was there. That’s just one of those deals where both of them are upset. No harm, no foul.”
DID THE TEAM HAVE A CHANCE TODAY? “It was one of those deals where we were going to have to wait and see. We had a really good car and we could run some fast lap times. It just took us a few laps to get going.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PIT STRATEGY FOR THE END OF THE RACE? “I think our pit strategy was fine. We were up front where we needed to be at the end. We had a lot of cautions there toward the end. We just didn’t get any green flag runs and that’s something we needed.”
CHIP GANASSI, (OWNER, CHIP GANASSI RACING WITH FELIX SABATES)
DID YOU HAVE A CAR TO REPEAT SONOMA TODAY? “I don’t know if we had a car to win but we had a top-three car. I don’t know if we had enough for the very, very front. Mileage might have played into the last laps, but we certainly had a car that could finish top three.”
WHO WOULD YOU PICK IN THE FIGHT? “I’ve got to stick with my guy. You aren’t allowed to bet on your own team. I don’t want to end up like Pete Rose betting on my own team but I would have bet on my guy.”
BILLY WILBURN (Crew Chief #45 Marathon Oil Dodge Avenger)
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CAR? “Something happened up through the esses. We got into the back end of Dale Jarrett. I guess we got up under the back of him. It’s pushed the oil cooler back into the oil filters, pretty much lost the oil, kicked the bottom out of the motor and now we’re done.
“It wasn’t (Jarrett’s) fault. Everybody piled up and we just didn’t have anywhere to go.”
WHAT WERE THE PROBLEMS AT THE START WITH THE TRANSMISSION – “I have no idea. He went to second gear and when we tried to go to third gear and when he got to third gear he said, ‘something’s wrong with the transmission’ and when he tried to downshift to get through one it shucked all the teeth off second gear.”
KURT BUSCH, (Driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger), Finished 11th
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “It was a good day. We worked our way up all the way to second at one point. We tried to be conservative on fuel and that put us in the back of the pack. All those yellows at the end made it too tough to pass.”
HOW IMPORTANT WAS TODAY FOR THE POINTS? “It was good. That finish bumped us up just a little bit. Every little bit counts.”
ELLIOTT SADLER, (Driver of the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger), Finished 17th
TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: “That was our best finish since the last road course race where we finished 14th at Infineon in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger. We’ll take 17th and information that I think we will find helpful when we return next year. We pitted on lap 60 for fuel only, looking to go the rest of the way. Had the race played out without all the cautions at the end, I think we could have finished even better because there were some cars that would have had to make a stop for fuel. If the race had stayed green, we would have benefited. The crew did a good job on pit road. Now, we try to keep the momentum going at Michigan.”
KASEY KAHNE, (Driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger), Finished 26th
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THAT LATE RACE WRECK? “When we made the pit stop on lap 60 we were set to go the rest of the way on fuel. Then the front end of the car was damaged when cars checked up for a wreck. I also had no brakes. That forced me to slow in the corners. I had to get off the throttle much earlier to get through the corner. I was even gearing down to slow the car at some points on the track. The caution gave us the opportunity to stop and repair the front end and the work on the brakes. But that’s not the strategy you want here. With the exception of being hit from behind and pushed into the accident, I kept the car on the racing surface.”
PATRICK CARPENTIER, (Driver of the No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Avenger), Finished 22nd
WAS YOUR FIRST CUP RACE EVERYTHING YOU EXPECTED? “I loved it. I had a good time. I finished the race – and that’s what I wanted. I got off the track a few times and got punted off by a couple of guys, then punted them back when we came back. It was exciting and it was fast. I really want to say thanks to the Valvoline team and Stanley Tools for giving me the opportunity. And to Scott Riggs, who stepped aside for the weekend and gave me that chance to do a Cup race. Plus we led some laps, so what a great day.”
WERE YOU SURPRISED BY HOW AGGRESSIVE THE CUP DRIVERS WERE? “No, I kind of had a taste last weekend in the Busch Series. It’s fun, the guys are really aggressive but I came back and gave them some of their medicine. It was fine. We passed them back at the end. I love it. What a great day, a great, great day.”
ARE YOU READY TO DO THIS AGAIN? “Of course. Any time, anywhere. It was great. I’d do an oval. I’ve done a lot of ovals before. Hopefully it will work out. I gave my best and I had a lot of fun.”
HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE IN FRONT OF THE FIELD IN YOUR FIRST CUP RACE? “I was pushing hard, I was really pushing like crazy trying to stay out front. When I was second the team wanted me to get to first place to get more points if we do it. When we came in the pits I found myself in the lead.”
DID IT SCARE YOU AT ALL TO SEE JEFF GORDON AND TONY STEWART IN YOUR MIRROR? “I’ll be honest. I can’t see behind me, just when they are at the side. The rear mirror, well the wing is too high and you sit so low in the car that you don’t see the cars behind you. It was just as well. It was good.”
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Ryan Newman had a pretty descent day at Watkins Glen for the Centurion Boats at The Glen. Newman finished 13th after spinning twice.
Ryan Newmans first spin brought out caution number 1 on lap 11 when he and David Ragan got tangled up and ended up in the gravel. Newman got out but Ragan was stuck.
The second time Newman spun brought out the 5th caution of the day on lap 63 when Newman and Clint Boyer went around in turn 1. Boyer tried diving under Newman causing them to spin.
Newman started the race in 3rd, fell to as low as 34th and still managed to finish 13th. The spins had alot to do with Newman falling back. At one point Newman and Tony Stewart were battling pretty hard. Newman managed to hold off Stewart at that point.
Newman got some help in the points with the following cars finishing behind Newman.
Dale Earnhardt JR's engine broke during the caution #5, leaving JR with a 42nd place finish.
Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton were taken out when Montoya was pushed into Harvick. Harvick and Montoya spun and were hit by traffic. Then Jeff Burotn ran into Montoya and his car was taken out. Harvick finished 36th and Burton finished 40th.
And to be honest, while those individuals "helped" Newman to get closer to 12th, he really fell even more points behind. He is now 96 points behind 12th place Kurt Busch.
JR is only 4 points behind Nemwan.
I will be breaking down Newman's chase chances later this week.
Who's getting into 12th - After Unoffical Standings after THE GLEN.
1 -- Jeff Gordon 3384
2 -- Denny Hamlin 3040 -344
3 -- Matt Kenseth 2952 -432
4 +1 Tony Stewart 2939 -445
5 +1 Carl Edwards 2824 -560
6 -2 Jeff Burton 2806 -578
7 -- Jimmie Johnson 2789 -595
8 -- Kyle Busch 2757 -627
9 +1 Clint Bowyer 2667 -717
10 -1 Kevin Harvick 2655 -729
11 -- Martin Truex Jr. 2587 -797
12 -- Kurt Busch 2529 -855
13 +1 Ryan Newman 2433 -951
14 -1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2429 -955
15 +1 Greg Biffle 2317 -1067
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 11, 2007) – Ryan Newman fought off a tenacious Andy Lally in the closing laps of Saturday's Zippo 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen International to bring his No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger home in ninth.
It was the second top-10 finish for Newman in five Busch Series races this season.
The dual between Newman and Lally erupted with less than 10 laps remaining after Newman forced his way by Denny Hamlin in turn one. Newman, who was 10th when the 82-lap race restarted on lap 73 after the fifth and final caution period, barreled off into turn one under Hamlin with seven laps remaining. Newman's Kodak Dodge slid wide and took Hamlin with it into the paved run-off area. Both kept racing and Newman completed the pass.
Newman now focused his yellow No. 12 Kodak Dodge on Lally. The dual began, and as they entered turn 11 on the 2.45-road course, Lally shoved Newman to the outside. Newman kept control of his car and continued down the frontstretch, maintaining a slim advantage over the hard charging Lally until the checkered flag.
Newman, who qualified third for the event, set himself up for a hard run down the stretch by pitting for fuel only during the third caution period that consumed laps 50-51. That left Newman 19th on the restart, but there was speculation that several cars in front of him would need fuel before the finish. With 28 laps remaining, Newman had gained six positions, and he cracked the top 10 with 21 laps to go. However, two caution flags in the final 15 laps allowed several drivers, including winner Kevin Harvick, to complete the race without pitting again.
With the exception of the third caution period, Newman ran in the top 10 for most of the race, but never made it any higher than his starting position.
Newman's next Busch Series race is Aug. 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger. In March, Newman qualified second and finished fourth in the No. 12 Kodak Dodge in the high-banked short track's Busch Series event. His next appearance in the No. 12 Kodak Dodge is Labor Day weekend at California Speedway.