Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge team had a great night at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. for the Back Of America 500.
Newman ran up front in the top 10 all night and finished 28th, 3 laps down. But that finish was due to him crashing with 3 to go in the race. The rest of Newman's night was great. Newman led about 9 laps for tonight's race.
After a caution with 12 to go a red flag was thrown while speedy dry was thrown down on a lot of the track.
Newman restarted 3rd behind Gordon and Bowyer. Newman went high on the restart and got around Bowyer. Gordon slowed up and Nemwan shot passed him on the high side while Gordon ended up holding up Kyle Bucsh and Clint Bowyer. Newman got a huge lead and was running away.
I thought for sure Newman was going to get a win. Then with 3 to go, Newman lost it in turn 2 and slammed into the wall. He said that he blew a right rear although the TV coverage revealed that the tire was not down. Newman was all on his own, out front and the car just got away from him. It could have been speedy dry still on the track...who knows.
Newman ended up being scored in 28th and 3 laps down. If saw the race, you would know that was not how Newmans night was.
Other notes include my Chase choice - Clint Bowyer finished 2nd. He remains in 3rd behind Jeff Gordon (1st) and Jimmie Johnson (2nd). Bowyer had a chance at the win when on the restart for the Green/White/Checkered Clint restarted in 2nd behind Gordon. Gordon spun his tires. Bowyer couldn't get around him and instead slammed into the back of Gordon propelling Gordon ahead.
A lot of the chasers had problems tonight including Matt Kensith who had a bad car all night and crashed twice.
Kurt Busch, Ryan Newmans Penske Racing teammate had an accident on pit road that crippled his chances in tonights race.
Tony Stewart had a double accident on pit road while leaving his stall. He hit one car when he left then another after he got started after hitting the first.
Denny Hamlin had transmission problems.
Here are the top 10 finishers from tonights race.
1 4 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 190/5 337 Running
2 25 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 175/5 337 Running
3 13 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Kellogg's / CARQUEST 170/5 337 Running
4 27 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 160/0 337 Running
5 18 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 155/0 337 Running
6 34 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar /
CatUsed.com 155/5 337 Running
7 29 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 146/0 337 Running
8 5 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Mopar / Dodge Dealers / UAW 142/0 337 Running
9 28 40 David Stremme Dodge Target 138/0 337 Running
10 19 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 139/5 337 Running
Saturday, October 13, 2007
CONCORD, N.C. - Penske Racing's Ryan Newman stole the show with his fast qualifying lap Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Can he turn that into a win in tonight's Bank of America 500?
Newman plans to try. Outside the Chase For The Nextel Cup field, Newman has labored outside the spotlight for the last string of races. He says he doesn't mind - he just wants his team to perform well.
Right now, he's taking things one practice, one qualifying, one race at a time.
"I don't look at it that way," he said when asked about comparisons to the Chase drivers. "I think, from my standpoint and the team's standpoint, we have a job to do on qualifying nights. We have a job to do on race days and try to get the car right in practice. Today was all about doing what we had to do to be first.
"I don't look at it as what we need to do to create some fame, because we're not in the Chase or anything like that. It's just a matter of going out and getting the job done."
Thanks to "RaceFan57" for kind of posing this question to me. What kind of records are there for winning Pole Positions?
I don't know. But I am now very curious and have been searching ALL OVER with no luck.
If anyone knows where to look, please let me know. I would like to find the "all time" pole winners and see what kind of numbers they have. And then, of course, compare them to "Rocket-Man" Ryan Newman's now 42 pole positions thanks to his efforts at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend.
I am sure that Newman is not close to any kind of records, but still would be fun to find one more statistic.
Anyone have any ideas? Please let me know!!
According to NASCAR.com Ryan Newman has set 3 qualifying CUP records. He set them at -
FONTANA Ryan Newman 187.432 - 2002
BRISTOL Ryan Newman 128.709 - 2003
Michigan Ryan Newman 194.232 - 2005
Atlanta Ryan Newman 191.661 - 2001
DARLINGTON Ryan Newman 170.301 - 2001
Chicago Ryan Newman 181.886 - 2001
Other sources have him having MORE qualifying records. I am currently updating my information to reflect that. For instance, I think FOX has Newman with about 6 CUP qualifying records.
But this is a general idea.
Also, more impoirtantly, from what I have seen, Newman has NO race records. Oh well.
Friday, October 12, 2007
For the second time in his NASCAR Cup Series career at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Ryan Newman has swept the Bud Pole Award at the 1.5-mile track.
Newman, who went out 45th of 49 drivers in Thursday's "Bojangles Pole Night", posted a lap time of 28.512 seconds – bettering the second-place Jimmie Johnson by 0.061 second; Johnson went out 42nd in qualifying.
"It was a great lap for the Alltel Dodge. Michael Nelson, Travis (Geisler) and the guys from the engineering group did a great job to bring the car off the truck fast," Newman said during his post-qualifying interviews. "We did some scuff runs in race trim; switched the car over to qualifying trim, did two qualifying runs and qualifying was just a matter of beating the 48 car.
"He [Johnson] was the guy to beat in practice, after practice. He had a good draw; we had a tick better draw. I had the advantage of knowing what he ran and I pushed my car to what I thought I needed to. It was a great lap for us. It was smooth. If I had to do it all over again, I’d say I could have done it better, but maybe not. I just look forward to the rest of the weekend after a great start here tonight."
YOU BEAT JIMMIE JOHNSON BY HALF A SECOND. CAN YOU FEEL THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE IN SPEED IN THE RACECAR?
“You can typically feel the speed difference. We picked up over a half a second difference over practice. So, I felt the grip in the car in my out lap through three and four. I had a pretty good one and two. I think I gave up just a tick in three and four. You can have a good sense of it. I’ve had a good sense of it, I thought I had a good sense of it before and be off. Typically here at Charlotte you can feel the speed and it was a great lap for us.”
AS A DRIVER NOT IN THE CHASE, ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU CAN GET?
“I don’t look at it that way. I think from my standpoint and the team’s standpoint we have a job to do on qualifying nights. We have a job to do on race days and try to get the car right in practice. Today was all about doing what we had to do to be first. I don’t look at it as what we need to do to create some fame because we’re not in the Chase or anything like that. It’s just a matter of going out and getting the job done. Tonight was a good night for that. Talladega was a good day for that. Jamie Little was asking me what’s the advantage of trying to qualifying so well here. It’s about getting it done in your back yard. It’s about beating everybody their on home turf; that’s what’s the most gratifying of it all.
WOULD THE RACING BE BETTER IF THE CARS WERE SLOWER HERE?
“You would get to a point where the balance wouldn’t matter. The more you slow the cars down the less the balance matters to the point if we all raced rental cars around here we ran wide open we’d all run the exact same speed. The speed is a good thing as long as we’re safe. I would say NASCAR has done a good job policing that at placing like and places like this and places like Daytona and Talladega to make sure the drivers are safe and most importantly the fans are safe.
The run gave Newman his seventh career Bud Pole Award at the North Carolina track and his 42nd overall; it is his fifth pole of the year. Newman also swept the Bud Pole Award in 2003 at LMS.
Newman has swept the pole at the same track four previous times as well; three times at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he won six consecutive Bud Pole Awards from March 2003 until October 2005, and at Texas Motor Speedway in 2005. Newman also has seven poles at Atlanta and is tied with mentor Buddy Baker for the most at the Georgia track. He has the opportunity to break that record at the end of October and sweep yet another track.
Coverage of Saturday's Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be broadcast by ABC and PRN radio beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.
Line-up for the Bank of America 500:
1. Ryan Newman, No. 12 Alltel Dodge
2. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet
3. Bobby Labonte, No. 43 Cheerios Racing/Pink for the Cure Dodge
4. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
5. Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Mopar/Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge
8. Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - He's been called "Flyin' Ryan" and Ryan Newman lived up to that nickname Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Newman won the pole for Saturday night's NASCAR Nextel Cup Bank of America 500 with a lap at 189.394 miles per hour around the 1 1/2-mile oval.
It was Newman's 42nd career Cup pole in 219 starts and his fifth pole this season. It was also his seventh pole and 12th top-10 start in 14 races at LMS, one of NASCAR's most historic venues that is located just outside Charlotte, North Carolina.
"The track is very fast tonight and just a good run," Newman said. "I knew Jimmie would be tough here. It's great to be able to do this. We came off the track fast and did some qualifying runs. It was just a matter of beating the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) car.
"If I had to do it all over again maybe I could have done it better. Maybe not."
Newman's run knocked Jimmie Johnson off the pole after the No. 2 driver in "The Chase" ran a lap at 188.990 mph in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
"I'm not surprised by that time," Johnson said of Newman's lap. "I couldn't have gone any faster. That's all I had. I think we'll still be in good shape for the race. It's one of the better qualifying spots that I've had here.
"Ryan nipped us by just a little bit. I'm looking forward to a good weekend."
Newman is not one of the 12 drivers in "The Chase." Johnson is second in points, nine behind Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, who qualified fourth at 188.298 mph just behind non-Chase driver Bobby Labonte.
Only the top four drivers in "The Chase" are within 200 points of the lead so this race could be critical to the eight other drivers who are rapidly losing touch with the leaders.
"I would think so but it depends on what the guys up front do in this race," Johnson said. "It's getting more and more difficult as the races go by. If you collect first through fourth in the points, those other guys are back in it."
Starting up front is important to Johnson, who has five wins, including sweeps of both races in 2004 and 2005, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 12 previous Cup starts here.
"When you are able to keep track position it makes the race that much easier for you," Johnson said. "At Kansas we had a good car in traffic but didn't have enough to win. If you can stay up there with the guys racing for the win it really helps you. It's better to get off to a good start. Those things all help us focus on qualifying."
Labonte was third in a Dodge. It was his eighth top-10 start in 2007 and best starting position since third at Bristol in August 2006.
"I thought our lap was great," Labonte said. "It was an uneventful lap. The car started well and turned well. It was a good lap for us."
Labonte is coming off a good race at Talladega, Alabama last Sunday before he was involved in a crash after 144 laps. He started eighth but finished 35th.
"Last weekend was really good for us," Labonte said. "The restrictor plate program we had at Talladega was the best we've had since I've been at Petty Enterprises with Evernham engines. I think we're gaining on it. To come here at Charlotte we always run good here. It's one of our strongest tracks that we come to. Hopefully we can have some momentum on our side.
"We still need to be a little bit better for 400 or 500 miles."
Defending race winner Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five with a lap at 188.088 mph in a Dodge.
Newman said he felt the additional speed in his car on his out lap when he came off the pits before running under the clock for the pole run.
"You could feel the speed and it was a great lap for us," Newman said. "We have a job to do on qualifying day and a car to do on race day. Today was all about getting the car first. I don't look at it as trying to create fame because we're not in The Chase; it's about getting the job done."
With most of the NASCAR Nextel Cup teams based in the Charlotte area, winning anything at this track is a big deal to the drivers in the series, even if they aren't in "The Chase."
"It's about getting it done in your backyard about beating everybody on your home turf," said Newman, who hasn't won a Cup race since September 18, 2005 at Loudon, New Hampshire. "If we had 20 poles at his point in my career and 12 wins, people would think that's acceptable. Maybe we've won too many poles. It's easier to do one lap than 325 that we do here on a given night.
"It's still fun either way it's that qualifying seems to be one of our strong suits."
Clint Bowyer, third in The Chase, qualified 25th at 186.374 mph in a Chevrolet. He is 63 points out of first. Tony Stewart, fourth in points 154 behind, qualified 29th at 185.842 mph in a Chevrolet.
Kevin Harvick, fifth in the Chase but 202 out of the lead, qualified 24th at 186.419 mph in a Chevrolet.
All other drivers in The Chase are 205 or more points out of the lead.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Ryan Newman and his #12 ALLTEL Dodge Penske Racing team were the fastest in qualifying at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 earning him and his team the POLE POSITION.
Newman's qualifying run included a speed of 189.394/28.512.
Congradulations to Ryan Newman for getting the Pole Position at Lowe's.
Practice 1 Results
Ryan Newman and his #12 ALLTEL Dodge Penske Racing team were the 3 fastest in the first practice at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 .
Newman's practice run included a speed of 184.944/29.198 putting him -0.126 behind the fastest of the practice, Jimmie Johnson.
Practice 1 Results
Ryan Newman and his Penske Racing #12 ALLTEL Dodge Team will be racing here at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend for the Bank of America 500 .
Ryan Newman has 13 starts at Lowes Motor Speedway. Out of those 13 starts, Newman and his #12 Dodge Penske Racing Team have 6 pole(s), 0 win(s), 3 Top 5(s) and 5 Top 10(s).Newman has an average starting position of 11.1 and a average finish here of 29.7.
All but 1 of Ryan Newman's 12 wins have come from intermediate tracks. Intermediate's. Newman has 142 starts at Intermediate's with 11 win(s), 41 Top 5(s) and 61 Top 10(s). He also has an average start of 8.5 and an average finish of 17.5.
Ryan Newman and his #12 team will be taking chasis PRS-071 as thier primary chasis. Thier backup chasis is PRS-108
And from PenskeRacing.com here is Ryan Newman's quote on Lowes Motor Speedway--
We had a great run last weekend, but couldnt pull out the win once those Hendrick cars came to the front. The last time we were in Charlotte, we had a really good, fast car and won the polethe first of three in a rowbut we had problems with the motor and went out of the race early. Were hoping to get back in the Alltel Dodge Charger at Lowes and hopefully, have a much better finish there this time and get a win before the season is over.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
-- Ryan Newman will host his annual Fan Club Appreciation Day on Wednesday at Penske Racing. Fan Club members who registered will have the opportunity to spend time with Newman and his wife, Krissie, from 9 a.m. until noon at the race shop in Mooresville, N.C. Lunch will be provided for those who attend. Later that day, Newman will race at the Dirt Track at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway and fan club members will receive a special discounted price on their tickets. The Jani-King Southern Showdown begins at 7 p.m. EDT.
-- Newman will make his 14th Cup start at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway in his No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger this weekend. It will be his 219th career start in the Cup Series.
-- Newman has an average start of 4.2 and an average finish of 21.5. He only has two starts outside the top five at Charlotte¿both in 2006¿and has earned six Bud Pole Awards, including one in May 2007.
-- Newman has five top-10 finishes at LMS, including three top-fives. Newman finished 39th in May after engine troubles eliminated him from the race after only 172 laps.
-- Newman has led 232 laps in seven Charlotte races. He has completed 3,660 laps of a possible 4,682 since he made his Cup debut at the North Carolina track in 2001. Newman has a completion rate of 78.2 percent at the 1.5-mile track.
-- This week, the Alltel team will use PRS-071 as its primary car. It was last used at Kansas where Newman started 42nd and finished 43rd after the engine failed 108 laps into the rain-shortened race. The backup car is PRS-108, which was last used in Michigan where Newman qualified 34th and finished 16th after rain delayed the race until Tuesday morning.
-- While en route to Texas Motor Speedway for the Nov. 2-4 race weekend, Newman will stop in Beaumont, Texas, on Nov. 1 to visit the ExxonMobil refinery.
-- Newman will participate in the annual Hot Rods & Reels Fishing Tournament at Homestead-Miami Speedway scheduled for Nov. 17.
Newman On Lowe's Motor Speedway: ¿We had a great run last weekend, but couldn¿t pull out the win once those Hendrick cars came to the front. The last time we were in Charlotte, we had a really good, fast car and won the pole¿the first of three in a row¿but we had problems with the motor and went out of the race early. We¿re hoping to get back in the Alltel Dodge Charger at Lowe¿s and hopefully, have a much better finish there this time and get a win before the season is over.
With Michigan International Speedway celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2008, the Irish Hills track has begun construction on several capital improvement projects that will strengthen the speedway’s on-going commitment to its race fans.
Michigan International Speedway will spend about $10 million in the coming months to continue enhancing the speedway based on feedback from the fans. The latest round of improvements will be completed by the start of the track’s 40th season of racing in June.
“It is an exciting time at MIS,” track president Roger Curtis said. “We have incredible momentum from the success of our improved traffic patterns following our June events, and are looking forward to further implementing some of the fan feedback that our guests continue to give us. All of these ongoing projects to elevate and enhance the fan experience are a result of the fans taking ownership of Michigan International Speedway and telling us what they want.”
* A new, state-of-the-art 142-foot, three-sided LED leaderboard. The scoreboard, higher than the 130-foot Scoring Tower, will replace three scoreboards at MIS, two in the turns and one in the center and be visible from all grandstand seats, as well as several of the infield camping sites. The old center scoreboard only showed the top-five positions, a far cry from the new leaderboard display which can track all 43 drivers in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The scoreboard can also be programmed to show video and graphics displays, setting the industry standard for motorsports venues.
* The first phase of a signage project throughout MIS property will also begin. The branded signage will help pedestrians, motorists and campers find their way in, out and around the 1,400-acre racetrack property.
* Some 300 new campsites sites with electric hookups will be added to the Graves Campground, bringing the total number of campsites at MIS to nearly 9,000.
* A permanent restroom/shower building will be built in the Graves Campground.
* Michigan International Speedway is moving forward with additional improved seating. Two additional grandstands in Turn One have been torn down and will soon be replaced with a grandstand that has wider seats, seatbacks and more leg room. The project began last year when one of the old “silver” grandstands was torn down and replaced with seats that are four inches wider than seats in the old grandstands. The project does not add seats, but merely replaces old seats.
* Lastly, as part of the grandstand replacement project, MIS will be acquiring more than 32,000 grandstand seats from the former Pikes Peak International Raceway for future “silver” grandstand replacement.
“These are just a few of the ongoing projects we are continuing in an effort to enhance and elevate the fan experience at MIS for many seasons to come,” Curtis said. “I would also like to thank the State of Michigan for their support in making these investments possible. These new improvements will help us continue are commitment to the race fan, which in turn will help drive tourism to the state during the popular summer months.”
Race week at Lowe's Motor Speedway kicks off tonight across the street from the 1.5-mile oval at The Dirt Track.
NASCAR drivers Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman are among those scheduled to compete when 800-horsepower super late model stock cars from the World of Outlaws Late Model Series compete in the Jani-King Southern Showdown.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with practice laps beginning at 6:45 p.m. The top three in each of six heats, which begin at 7:30, advance to a 50-lap feature scheduled to begin just after 10 p.m.
Scott Bloomquist, who won The Dirt Track's first late model race in 2000 and has back-to-back $50,000 victories in the Colossal 100, is also entered. So is Jimmy Owens, who won the prestigious World 100 at Eldora Speedway.
Drivers will draw for positions in the feature, and if the winner's official entry form was submitted by Sept. 15, that driver will pick up a $10,000 first prize along with $1,000 multiplied by his starting spot. In effect, the winner could get $1,000 for every position gained.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Oct 08, 2007
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Ryan Newman will attempt to become the driver with the most pole positions in Atlanta Motor Speedway history this Oct. 26 during Georgia-Pacific Qualifying night.
Newman and NASCAR legend Buddy Baker are currently tied with seven AMS poles each, but Newman would like to see his number atop not only the scoring tower on Oct. 26, but also on top of the Atlanta Motor Speedway record book.
"It would be an honor to beat Buddy Baker in all-time poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway, " Newman said. "Atlanta is a place where I enjoy qualifying and I have a great record there. I am really looking forward to trying to claim the all-time qualifying record. "
If Newman were to claim the top-spot for the Oct. 28 Pep Boys Auto 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race, moving Baker to second-place, he would be de-throneing his friend and mentor.
"Buddy and I always drove the tracks backwards because it gives you a different perspective of entry and exit points, " Newman said. "It lets you know how to approach those points when you are going the right way. Its something we did at Atlanta when he was teaching me about the track and I have always qualified well there. "
Although Newman's remarkable qualifying attempts haven't always translated into great race finishes, his best was a fifth-place finish in 2004, Newman still loves the pure speed that Atlanta Motor Speedway offers.
"Atlanta wasn't ever intimidating to me as far as speed is concerned, " Newman said. "Even if you crash at full speed at Atlanta, you just have to go back and do it again. You always try to go wide open there. You have to go wide open to be competitive. "
Monday, October 8, 2007
Newman ran in the middle to the front of the field throughout the NASCAR Nextel Cup race. He led 10 laps and finished fifth, the best performance for his Penske Racing team in 16 races.
And then he questioned the nature of the racing in the car of tomorrow debut at the restrictor-plate track.
"It was crazy," he said. "I think the racing was not very good. I think the racing was disappointing. To see single-file racing and the guy that wins the race is sitting in the back all day just lounging around.
"That's not racing to me. I hope it wasn't what NASCAR intended with this car."
That wasn't, Newman pointed out, a questioning of the car of tomorrow. Instead, he was questioning the intent of the competition.
"I'm not complaining about the car because the old car did relatively the same ting. We gotta do something where we can race a little bit.
"I mean I was driving around with one hand running 15th just riding, on and off the gas. It's not racing. If we're going to do that, why don't we just make it a 100-mile race and we'll tear them all up in the first 50."
I think I disagree. It did get old seeing single file racing but after about the half way mark, things seemed to pick up a little. It was Talladega. The race itself wasn't that much different than a "the old car" racing. I think they were hoping for some "better" racing and ended up with the same results with the COT as they have had with the Old Car.
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- NASCAR's new Car of Tomorrow didn't exactly pass its first superspeedway test with flying colors.
But, on the plus side, there were no flying racecars Sunday at Talladega.
Despite all the trepidation and unanswered questions heading into the next-generation stock car's first race on the biggest and most dangerous oval in the Nextel Cup Series, the UAW-Ford 500 did bear at least some resemblance to a typical Talladega race.
There were two- and three-wide freight trains racing inches from each other at nearly 200 mph -- at times.
There were multi-car crashes, including the expected Big One involving 11 cars.
And the finish, with Jeff Gordon out-dueling Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson at the head of a huge pack of challengers, shouldn't have disappointed any real racing fan.
But there also were long periods of ho-hum racing during the 188-lap event, with most of the drivers riding lap after lap in single file, apparently holding their collective breath in anticipation of disaster just up the road.
The 145,000 fans on hand at the sprawling Alabama track had little to cheer until the waning laps, except for the brief periods when their favorite, Dale Earnhardt Jr., surged into the lead before his day was cut short by another broken engine.
Even the drivers felt it.
"It was really, really boring," Earnhardt said after his early exit.
And Gordon, whose victory bore little resemblance to his six previous wins on Talladega's 2.66-mile oval, agreed with the driver who will be his new teammate next season.
Gordon spent three-quarters of the race riding near the back of the field, biding his time and just trying to stay out of trouble. It wasn't until the last 30 laps that the four-time Cup champion, now the leader in the Chase, got racy.
"It was terrible," he said. "It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in a racecar. I like to think that I've got pretty good patience, but that's beyond patience. There's just nothing fun about that, but I knew it was a smart thing.
"I've never yawned in a racecar in my life and I yawned back there."
This was the 14th of 16 COT races this year, but the first on an oval longer than 1.33 miles for the car that will be run for the entire schedule in 2007.
The problem is that NASCAR and the Cup teams have not yet totally figured out the COT, a bigger, bulkier car developed over a seven-year period to enhance safety, cut team costs by making all cars more uniform and level out the competition.
On the big Talladega track, the bulky COT carves a huge hole in the air and gives a car coming from behind an accelerated closing rate. And, with the bumpers lined up perfectly level on the new cars, the competitors gain most of their momentum for passes with lots of hard bump-drafting.
If this was a preview of the next COT race on a carburetor restrictor-plate track, there are going to be a lot of people yawning in the Daytona 500 in February.
"I still think we need to work on this car a little bit," Gordon said. "I think we would never race like that if we didn't have the closing rate that we have, and [with] the bump-drafting being so drastic that I think we need to make some adjustments here.
"I knew the race was going to be spectacular at the end. It's always going to be spectacular at the end here at Talladega. But that wasn't the kind of race we want to see up to the 10-to-go or 20-to-go mark, guys riding single final or guys running the back with a group of 10 cars."
Dave Blaney, who matched his career best with a third-place finish, also agreed that most of the race wasn't very exciting. But he noted that NASCAR has plenty of ammunition to make the racing better.
"They can play with the restrictor plate and the wicker and the wing and gearing," Blaney said. "They could change it all around. So the package is all right. It just maybe needs tweaking a little bit."
Hopefully, NASCAR will get it done before Daytona.
2 Jimmie Johnson
3 Dave Blaney
4 Denny Hamlin
5 Ryan Newman
6 Casey Mears
7 Kurt Busch
8 Tony Stewart
9 Tony Raines
10 Reed Sorenson
Sunday, October 7, 2007
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 alltel Dodge Avenger)
“The lap was better than I thought we would have based off of what we did yesterday. It gives us something to work with for tomorrow. I think it is entirely a random crap shoot. Our car is made to go fast for 500 miles tomorrow not for one lap today.”
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger)
“Some guys have qualifying setups in and that will be good for making the race but then how are they going to deal with it for 500 miles. We can focus on our race setup and then do a couple quick things to go qualify. We actually beat our expectations and that is surprising for us.”
LOOKING AHEAD TO TOMORROW “You need friends to help draft when two cars can cut the air better than one then two are better than one. You have to have friends that will stick with you and make passes when you want to pass.”
In a qualifying session Saturday that was dominated by Toyotas and teams outside the top 35 in owner points, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, made his way into the 16th starting position for Sunday’s UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Newman, who went out 43rd among the 51 cars attempting to qualify, recorded a lap time of 51.301 seconds, 0.653 second behind pole sitter Michael Waltrip.
“The lap was better than I thought we would have based off of what we did yesterday,” Newman said about his lap on the 2.66-mile track. “It gives us something to work with for tomorrow. I think it is entirely a random crap shoot. Our car is made to go fast for 500 miles tomorrow, not for one lap today.”
The top-10 qualifiers were all cars outside the top 35, but only eight of them made it into the race. Newman was 22nd fastest when the final car took the checkered flag to end qualifying, but moved up to 16th after six cars in front of him were sent home due to not qualifying on time.
Coverage of Sunday’s UAW-Ford 500 from Talladega will be broadcast by ABC and MRN Radio beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.
Line-up for the UAW-Ford 500:
1. Michael Waltrip, No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
2. Dave Blaney, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota
3. Brian Vickers, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota
4. Joe Nemechek, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
5. David Reutimann, No. 00 Burger King Toyota
16. Ryan Newman, No. 12 Alltel Dodge
41. Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
TALLADEGA, Ala. - To say that Toyota teams dominated qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday would clearly be an understatement.
Michael Waltrip won the pole with a lap of 189.070 mph in his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Dave Blaney followed in his Bill Davis Racing Toyota. Toyota drivers took four of the top five spots.
Team Red Bull driver and defending race winner Brian Vickers qualified third. Joe Nemechek (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet), David Reutimann (No. 00 MWR), Jacques Villeneuve (No. 27 BDR Toyota), John Andretti (BAM Racing Dodge) and Dale Jarrett (MWR Toyota) all qualified in the top eight. Jarrett will start 43rd by virtue of being the last to qualify of the drivers who were outside the top 35 in owners points.
Of course, that is partially due to the fact that the Toyota teams are all outside the top 35 in owners points and are forced to qualify based on speed for the UAW-Ford 500. Still, this session was an exercise in dominance. The top eight have not participated in the drafting aspects of the practice, for the most part, instead focusing on qualifying.
Team Red Bull's AJ Allmendinger, No Fear Racing's Boris Said and Vaolvoline Evernham Racing's Scott Riggs were in the top 11 in overall qualifying times, but each failed to make the race since the top eight drivers were also in the position of needing to make the race.
"I felt confident yesterday that we would make the race," Waltrip said. "I really didn't think about the pole. The two runs I got in the final practice were both wind-aided. We didn't really know what we had. Our qualifying lap was faster than what we ran in practice.
"If I only had to worry about my car, I would've been happier. But, I had to worry about Dale and David making the race, too. It is more important for me to have all three cars in. For me to be first is a bonus. To have all three cars in the race is very gratifying."
Meanwhile, the cars of Penske Racing's Kurt Busch and Roush Fenway Racing's David Ragan failed postrace inspection for being too low in the front. Their times will be disallowed, forcing them to start at the rear Sunday.
Drivers competing in The Chase For The Nextel Cup didn't fare well either, though each pointed out that qualifying doesn't mean that much on this 2.66-mile restrictor-plate track.
Joe Gibbs Racing's Tony Stewart was fastest among the Chase drivers and will start 11th. Martin Truex Jr. (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) starts 13th, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin (18th), Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson (19th), Richard Childress Racing's Jeff BUrton (21st), RCR's Clint Bowyer (23rd), Roush Fenway Racing's Matt Kenseth (25th), Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards (31st), Hendrick's Jeff Gordon (34th), Kyle Busch (36h) and RCR's Kevin Harvick (37th). Busch drops to the back and will start 41st.
Said, Riggs, Allmendinger, Penske Racing's Sam Hornish, Morgan-McClure Motorsports Ward Burton, Front Row Motorsports Kevin Lepage, Phoenix Racing's Sterling Marlin and Bill Davis Racing's Jeremy Mayfield failed to make the race.
The UAW-Ford 500 is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday.