Fontana II: Ryan Newman preview

Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, has one pole, two top-five and four top-10 finishes in 11 NASCAR Cup Series starts at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway (ACS) in Fontana, California. Newman's best finish at ACS...

Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, has one pole, two top-five and four top-10 finishes in 11 NASCAR Cup Series starts at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway (ACS) in Fontana, California.

Newman's best finish at ACS was a third-place effort on May 2, 2004.

Newman scored a top-10 finish at the track on February 25, 2008. After starting 13th due to a rained-out qualifying session, Newman led three laps en route to his 10th-place effort.

Newman is currently 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver point standings. With two races remaining, he is 181 points away from the 12th place "cutoff" for the 2008 "Chase for the Championship."

Newman has two NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts at ACS. He started second and finished second at the southern California oval in the NNS race on February 25, 2006.

With college football season kicking off this weekend, there will be many interested viewers following the games on the No. 12 Kodak pit crew. For four members of the No. 12 over-the-wall team, the games have an added meaning as former college football players. Bryan White (jackman) and Britt Goodrich (catch can) both played Division 1 football in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). White was a linebacker for the University of Virginia and Goodrich was a linebacker for N.C. State University. Two other team members played at smaller schools. Trent Cherry (rear tire carrier) was a quarterback at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C.; and Ben Brown (front tire changer) played both receiver and cornerback at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C.

RYAN NEWMAN ON:

KEYS TO RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY: "The track lends itself to good racing because it is such a wide track with plenty of room for passing. There's three and four wide racing in the corners. You can normally expect long green flag runs, which means it can be a fuel mileage race, so strategy can be key. In February, we got a top 10 because we were able to adjust on the car and continuously make it better during the race. With the heat and the change from day to night in the race this weekend, making the right adjustments on the car will be extremely important."

RACING UNTIL THE END OF THE SEASON: "It's really important to me that we finish on a strong note with this Kodak Dodge team. We are still battling for that last spot in the Chase, and even though we have quite a bit of ground to make up, we're not giving up. If we don't get that spot, then our goal will be to finish 13th in points. Whatever the situation, I'm here to win and so are the guys on this team. Last weekend, the guys did a great job. We didn't have a great car in practice, but they hustled and really battled and we ended up finishing sixth. I was really proud of them because that is a good day at Bristol. We're going into California with momentum and the mentality that we are going to do whatever we can to get a solid finish - just like we were able to do last weekend at Bristol."

ROY MCCAULEY ON:

RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY: "One word comes to everybody's mind when they talk about the Labor Day weekend race at California - heat. It was extremely hot there last year, and once again, that will be a concern for us when we return to the track this weekend. The key at California is not being too loose coming off the corners. And with the high ambient temperatures, I am concerned that we will be too free and lacking grip. That will be something we will work on all weekend - finding the right balance for the car in the corners so that we can carry momentum down the straightaways. We had a solid top 10 finish at California in February, and we would like to back that up with a solid finish in our Kodak Dodge on Sunday night. "

PRS-570: The primary No. 12 Kodak Dodge for this weekend's race has been driven by Newman in two other races this year. He piloted the car to a 21st place finish at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600 in May. He also drove it to a 15th-place finish at the rain-shortened event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June.

PRS-558: The backup No. 12 Kodak Dodge was the primary car at Michigan in June (finished 42nd). It has also been a backup at several tracks this season.

-credit: pr

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