BUSCH: Bristol: Ryan Newman preview

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 22, 2007) -- With only three races remaining before the 2007 Chase for the Championship begins at New Hampshire International Speedway in September, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, is fighting to ...

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 22, 2007) -- With only three races remaining before the 2007 Chase for the Championship begins at New Hampshire International Speedway in September, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, is fighting to secure a spot in this year's title battle.

Newman is sitting in the 14th position, just 171 points behind teammate Kurt Busch who possesses the final transition spot for the Chase.

This weekend, Newman will compete in the NASCAR Busch and Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

On Friday night, Newman will drive the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger in the Food City 250 for his sixth NASCAR Busch Series start at BMS, his 36th in the Busch Series.

Newman has an average start of 4.8 and an average finish of 5.0 at Bristol. He earned his first Busch Pole Award last year at this same race. His lowest start at BMS has been 15th; with his other three starts being two from third place and one from second.

Newman has never finished a Busch race outside of the top 10 at BMS. He earned his only victory at Bristol in the Food City 250 in 2005 and has one other finish from the top five -- a fourth in the spring race earlier this year. Newman's other finishes include an eighth and two sixths.

Newman has led 236 laps in three races at Bristol and has completed every lap possible at the Tennessee track in the Busch Series -- 1,302 of 1,302 -- giving him a 100 percent completion rate since he began racing at the high-banked facility.

"I enjoy running the Busch races at Bristol and it's going to be very interesting to see what the new surface is like in race conditions," Newman said. "We came up here a couple months ago to test the Busch car, but rain kept us from spending a lot of time here, so I don't think anyone really got a great feel for what the track is going to be like. I'm excited to get up there and be one of the first drivers to race on the new surface. I don't know what's going to happen with 43 cars on the track, but I think it will definitely be interesting."

On Saturday night, Newman will drive the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger in his 12th Cup start at Bristol. It will be his 212th career start in the Cup Series.

In a Cup car, Newman has an average start of 8.7 and an average finish of 21.4. Newman has two Bud Pole Awards at Bristol along with six other top-10 starts. Newman's lowest starting position occurred this spring when he qualified 22nd.

Newman has five top-10 finishes at BMS. He has one 22nd-place finish and five 30th or lower.

"Bristol is always a fun track to race at," Newman commented. "You never know what is going to happen there...you can get really lucky and miss all the accidents or you can get caught up in one that ruins your whole day especially if you have a really good car. We were unable to miss an accident during the spring race and it took a really good car out of the race, but that's the way it goes at Bristol. It's such a crowded track when 43 cars are on it that you just never know what's going to happen. I like racing at Bristol and I'm looking forward to running both races there this weekend."

Newman has led 55 laps in two races at Bristol and has completed 5,063 laps of a possible 5,504, giving Newman a completion rate of 92 percent at the "World's Fastest Half Mile"..

Crew chief Mike Nelson and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger team will take chassis PRS-511 to run in the Sharpie 500 on Saturday night. This car was last raced in Martinsville in April. Newman qualified 24th after spinning in turns three and four on his second qualifying lap; he finished 14th. The back-up car for Bristol will be PRS-515, which was used at Dover in June when Newman started on the pole and finished second. It was first used at Darlington in May where Newman qualified 29th and finished fourth.

-credit: penske racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ryan Newman