Bristol II: Ryan Newman preview

* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has two poles, one top-five and six top-10 finishes in 13 NASCAR Cup starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. Newman's best result at the half-mile short track is a second-place ...

* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has two poles, one top-five and six top-10 finishes in 13 NASCAR Cup starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. Newman's best result at the half-mile short track is a second-place effort, which came during the fall night race in 2004.

* With three races to go to until the "Chase for the NASCAR Cup", Newman is sitting 17th in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings. He is 211 points away from the 12th-place cutoff for drivers making the Chase.

* Newman holds the qualifying record at Bristol Motor Speedway. He established the all-time track mark in March 2003, when he turned a qualifying lap of 128.709 mph (14.908 seconds). That qualifying run earned Newman the nickname "Rocket Man" from the television broadcasters covering the event. Newman also claimed the pole position in 2004.

* Newman had a stout car at Bristol earlier this spring, but was hit with bad luck during the weekend. After starting in the back in 43rd place due to an engine change, Newman was able to drive the No. 12 Dodge into the top 10 before being caught up in five-car wreck. Newman finished 33rd.

* In six starts at Bristol in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), Newman has one pole, one win (2005) and five top-10 finishes.

* Crew chief Roy McCauley knows the way to victory lane at Bristol. McCauley led Newman to his NNS victory at Bristol in 2005. He was also the winning crew chief for Kurt Busch and the No. 2 Dodge in 2006.

* The No. 12 team will have a new race engineer this weekend. Ben Atkins replaces Travis Geisler, who is now the crew chief on the No. 77 Mobil 1 team.

RYAN NEWMAN:

SURVIVING BRISTOL: "Everyone will tell you that Bristol has always been a game of survival. Everything happens so fast there. You don't have time to think or blink. I learned that in 2003 when I won the pole there. I knew I had a good car, but I never anticipated that I could put down a lap that fast. You just don't realize how quickly everything happens at Bristol. You could have the best car out there, but everything is completely out of your hands. One minute you could be running in the lead and just seconds later, you could be wrecked in the corner and out of the race and it be no fault of your own. You won't even realize what has happened to you until afterwards. That's what happened to us in the spring. We got into the top 10, and we had a really fast car. But a couple of cars got crossed up in front of me, and I had nowhere to go. Our car ended up being a casualty of a wreck that wasn't our fault."

THE BRISTOL NIGHT RACE: "I have always enjoyed the Bristol night race, and I know that its something that the fans really love. I know the fans didn't think that there was enough bumping and banging at Bristol last fall, but to me the racing is better there now. We can race side-by-side and actually gain spots without having to wreck someone. And the fans will still get an exciting race -- it's Bristol. To me, the night races are some of my favorites because I grew up racing on Saturday nights at local tracks. This race has that feel to it although there are hundreds of thousands of fans in the stands."

ROY MCCAULEY:

RACING AT BRISTOL: "Bristol is all about survival. It's a matter of keeping your nose clean and trying to survive the first 400 laps and putting yourself in position to go for the win in the last 100 laps. We have the driver and team to do that. The Alltel team had a great car at Bristol for the spring race, but things just didn't go our way. We had to start in the back, which isn't ideal at a short track like Bristol, but Ryan was able to drive it into the top 10. Then even after getting caught up in a wreck, he was still one of the fastest cars on the track. Hopefully, we can have some luck go our way this time around because we had a good package the last race there."

CHASSIS NOTES

PRS-561: The primary No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger at Bristol was first raced at Richmond International Raceway in May. In that race, Newman started 10th and finished sixth. This will be the car's second race.

PRS-513: The backup car is the same No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger that served as the primary car at Chicagoland Speedway's inaugural night race. After starting 17th, Newman finished 10th.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Travis Geisler
Teams Team Penske