Atlanta: Ryan Newman preview

* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has seven career poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway and is currently tied for the all-time pole record at the track. Newman's friend and mentor Buddy Baker also owns seven poles...

* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has seven career poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway and is currently tied for the all-time pole record at the track. Newman's friend and mentor Buddy Baker also owns seven poles at Atlanta. Newman credits Baker for teaching him how to get around the Atlanta race track when he first joined Penske Racing in 2000, and says it would be an honor to own the all-time pole record.

* Newman scored six consecutive pole positions at the 1.54-mile quad oval from March 2003 to October 2005. He scored his seventh pole at Atlanta last March.

* Newman's qualifying prowess at Atlanta isn't just about pole positions. In 12 starts at the track, Newman has started outside the top 10 only once -- and that was in October 2006 when inclement weather forced the starting lineup to be set by points and Newman started 17th. Newman's qualifying efforts at Atlanta include the seven poles, two outside poles and a sixth- and ninth-place starting position.

* Newman's best finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway came in March 2004, when he finished fifth. He also had three consecutive 10th-place finishes at the race track from March 2002 to March 2003.

RYAN NEWMAN:

QUALIFYING AT ATLANTA: "Atlanta has always been a place where I like to qualify, and it would be an honor to get the all-time pole record there. Buddy Baker has really helped me throughout my racing career and that's why we named the car we won the Daytona 500 with after him. Buddy would never tell me what I was doing right when he worked with me , but he would always tell me what I was doing wrong, so I could learn from my mistakes. We always drove the tracks backwards because it gives you a different perspective of entry and exit points. It lets you know how to approach those points when you are going the right way on the track. That's something we did at Atlanta when he was teaching me about the track and I have always qualified well there."

RACING AT ATLANTA: "My qualifying record hasn't transferred to my racing record, and I'm not sure why. We have some top 10s, but we've also had some not so great runs there. I hope we learned a lot from our test there last fall that will help us out this weekend. Our Alltel team wants top fives and top 10s each weekend, so that's our goal."

ROY MCCAULEY:

QUALIFYING AT ATLANTA: "Our first goal is that we would like to continue Ryan's history of qualifying success at Atlanta. Just because Ryan has a solid history at the track in qualifying, it doesn't put more pressure on us. We want to qualify well so that we can pick a good pit, which benefits the entire team and therefore benefits Ryan during the race. Our goal is to do as good as we can as a team. We know Ryan's qualifying history at the track and we know that we have the capability of giving him a car that can qualify on the pole."

STRATEGY AT ATLANTA: "At Atlanta, the key is how you are on long runs. The tires there have a history of wearing out quickly, so it's not about how fast you are during the first 10 laps, but it's about how consistent you are over the last 30 laps of a run. So you want to focus on long runs in practice. This weekend, weather looks to be an issue, so we're just going to have to see how much race practice we get. We're going to have to do as much work as we can during that time to get the Alltel Dodge ready for our race runs."

CHASSIS NOTES

PRS-519: Atlanta will be the first race for this car. The Charger was tested at Lowe's Motor Speedway last season by the No. 12 team, and it served as a backup car at various tracks during the year.

PRS-513: The backup car is the same No. 12 Alltel Dodge that served as the backup at California and Las Vegas.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman , Buddy Baker
Teams Team Penske