Long Pond II: Raybestos Rookie pre-race notes

* Ryan Newman was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Newman finished fifth, his seventh top-five and 10th top-10 of the season. He has now been highest finishing rookie in eight ...

* Ryan Newman was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Newman finished fifth, his seventh top-five and 10th top-10 of the season. He has now been highest finishing rookie in eight races.

* Newman was the only Raybestos® Rookie to lead a lap at New Hampshire. Newman held the top spot once for one lap.

* Newman closed in on leading Raybestos® Rookie Contender Jimmie Johnson in the Raybestos® Rookie standings. Johnson's lead was cut from 29 to 21 points (275-254) entering Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.

* Newman was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie at New Hampshire, taking the seventh starting position. He has been the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie in 10 races this season.

* Johnson remains third in the Winston Cup points chase, 37 behind second place Mark Martin and 92 behind leader Sterling Marlin. Johnson holds a 35-point advantage over fourth place Rusty Wallace and 48 over fifth place Jeff Gordon.

* Johnson has led the most laps in two races this season: the Coca-Cola 600 and the MBNA Platinum 400. Newman has led the most laps in one race this season, the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Entering Sunday's race at Pocono, both Raybestos® Rookies have led laps in the same event five times.

* Johnson has led more miles this season than any other Raybestos® Rookie. He has led 18 times in seven races for 789.78 miles (552 laps). Tony Stewart (502) is the only other driver to lead more than 500 laps.

* Ryan Newman became the first Raybestos® Rookie since Tony Stewart in 1999 to lead a lap at Pocono. Newman led once for 19 laps in June at the Pocono 500.

* Casey Atwood was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the 2001 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Atwood finished fifth and was on the lead lap. He was one of three first-year drivers to complete all 500 miles at the 2.5 mile speedway. Kevin Harvick (20th) and Jason Leffler (21st) were the others.

*  All five drivers who started the Pennsylvania 500 were running at the
finish:  Atwood, Harvick, Leffler, Ron Hornaday (30th) and Kurt Busch (37th).

* Newman became the first rookie this season to surpass the $2 million mark in single season earnings. His fourth place finish at Dover pushed him over the mark. Newman was also the first rookie to win over $1 million this season when he finished second at Richmond.

* Raybestos® Rookie Contender Jimmie Johnson won the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway, becoming the fourth quickest driver (13th career race) to score his first victory in the sport's modern era. Harvick won in his third career race, Ron Bouchard won in his 11th start, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in his 12th.

*  Newman became the first Raybestos® Rookie since Kenny Irwin in 1998 to
finish in the top-10 at Sonoma.  Irwin, like Newman, finished ninth.

* A Raybestos® Rookie has posted multiple victories five times in NASCAR Winston Cup history: Davey Allison (two wins in 1987), Tony Stewart (three wins in 1999), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two wins in 2000), Kevin Harvick (two wins in 2001, and Jimmie Johnson (two wins in 2002).

* A Raybestos® Rookie Contender has now won at least one race in each of the last four seasons dating back to Tony Stewart's win at Richmond in September, 1999. Other freshman drivers to win: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond, 2000), Matt Kenseth (Charlotte, 2000), and Kevin Harvick (Atlanta, 2001).

* When Johnson and Newman won poles at Talladega and California in consecutive races, it was the first time since 1965 that a rookie won the pole position in back to back events. The last driver to accomplish the feat was Dick Hutcherson when he took the top starting spot at Myrtle Beach and Valdosta.

* By winning the pole for the Daytona 500, Johnson joined Loy Allen (1994) and Mike Skinner (1997) as the only drivers in their rookie season to win the pole for the Daytona 500. He is also among an elite group of modern era (since 1972) drivers who have won poles early in their careers. Johnson won his first Winston Cup pole position in just his fourth career start. Ryan Newman and Mark Martin both won a pole in their third career start, while Johnny Benson won his first career pole in his fourth start.

<pre> RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE CONTENDER POINT STANDINGS

DRIVER                  POINTS
Jimmie Johnson          275
Ryan Newman             254
Shawna Robinson          73

HIGHEST FINISHING RAYBESTOS® ROOKIES BY RACE

EVENT                           HIGHEST FINISHING ROOKIE
Daytona 500                     Ryan Newman, seventh
Subway 400                      Ryan Newman, 14th
UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400        Ryan Newman, fourth
MBNA America 500                Jimmie Johnson, third
Carolina Dodge Dealers 400      Ryan Newman, fifth
Food City 500                   Jimmie Johnson, seventh
Samsung/RadioShack 500          Jimmie Johnson, fourth
Virginia 500                    Jimmie Johnson, 35th
Aaron's 499                     Jimmie Johnson, seventh
NAPA Auto Parts 500             Jimmie Johnson, first
Pontiac Excitement 400          Ryan Newman, second
Coca-Cola Racing Family 600     Jimmie Johnson, seventh
MBNA 400                        Jimmie Johnson, first
Pocono 500                      Jimmie Johnson, third
Sirius Satellite Radio 400      Ryan Newman, third
Dodge/Save Mart 350             Ryan Newman, ninth
Pepsi 400                       Jimmie Johnson, eighth
Tropicana 400                   Jimmie Johnson, fourth
New England 300                 Ryan Newman, fifth

-raybestos-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Jason Leffler , Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Shawna Robinson , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Atwood , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jimmie Johnson , Dick Hutcherson , Mark Martin , Davey Allison