Chicagoland: Ryan Newman preview

Newman Looking to Get Back on the Right Streak JOLIET, Ill. (July 8, 2009) -- As the second half of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season begins this weekend at the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, Ryan Newman would like to end a streak, and at...

Newman Looking to Get Back on the Right Streak

JOLIET, Ill. (July 8, 2009) -- As the second half of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season begins this weekend at the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, Ryan Newman would like to end a streak, and at the same time, continue a streak.

The streak he wants to abolish is not having scored a top-10 finish in the last four races. The streak he is aiming to prolong is consecutive top 10s at the Chicagoland track.

The 31-year-old Newman has had finishes of eighth and 10th the past two years at the 1.5-mile oval. Chicagoland is also a track where he captured one of his 13 tour wins (2003 season).

"We've had some misfortunes recently and it's been costly with our finishes," said Newman. "Performance wise we know we can be a contender week in and week out. We'll keep plugging away knowing the luck cycle will eventually turn in our favor."

Newman's latest woe was in Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway. He drove a wrecked race car for more than half the race after being collected in a 13-car accident at the 2.5-mile track. He fell a lap down, but a late-race surge propelled him to a 20th-place finish.

"One thing about Ryan and this team - we never quit," said crew chief Tony Gibson. "We feed off our Soldiers and keep pounding away when things aren't going right. At Daytona Ryan picked up nine spots in the last four laps. That's 27 points and that could make the difference from making or not making the Chase."

In the first 18 races of the season, Newman has posted five top fives and eight top 10s. He has been in the top-10 in driver points since the 10th race of the season (following Richmond on May 2).

With eight races remaining before the top-12 drivers in points enter the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, Newman is positioned in seventh place and 134 points from the Chase cutoff.

"So many things can happen in eight races," offered Newman. "Our margin is not safe and we know that. You can drop a lot of points quickly -- it only takes one bad break. Our goal is to continue to fight hard and run up front at all of the races."

Newman's career record at Chicagoland Speedway is: 7 starts, 1 win, 2 top fives, 4 top 10s and 1 pole (2002). He has completed 94.2 percent of the laps since his first start in 2002 and has led a total of 163 laps.

-credit: shr

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman