Newman hot to defend Dover sweep

Ryan Newman seemed disappointed when the No. 19 Dodge of Jeremy Mayfield bested him for the pole at Dover International Speedway. Newman won this event from the pole position in 2003, and also found victory lane at Dover in the September ...

Ryan Newman seemed disappointed when the No. 19 Dodge of Jeremy Mayfield bested him for the pole at Dover International Speedway. Newman won this event from the pole position in 2003, and also found victory lane at Dover in the September event.

Newman is stealth on the "Monster Mile", in four starts here; he has two wins and has never finished worse than 8th. It seems as if, the 1-mile track in Delaware just suits Newman's driving style.

"It's a track that once you get it right you can usually keep it right," said Newman. "That's on a given weekend or throughout a couple of years. It doesn't change much if any, whereas other tracks are more susceptible to weather change and things like that. That on top of good effort and having yourself in good position at the end of the race, that's it. There's no story behind it if that's what you're asking."

The No. 12 Dodge Penske team is looking to get back on track after a disappointing 35th place finish at Charlotte last weekend, after blowing an engine late in the race. The malfunction proved costly for Team 12, it dropped them from 6th to 9th in series standings.

It has been an up-and-down season for Newman, he continues to be winless, and although he has earned seven top ten's this season, he also has four results of 27th or worse, which has played havoc with his ranking in the series. He had climbed as high as 5th at Darlington, but within two weeks had free fell to 11th. The last few weeks have been a steady march to firm his position in the top five, but the incident at Charlotte blasted him dangerously close to careening outside of the top ten.

Never has it been more important than this season to secure a place within the top ten in standings. With the new point system in play, drivers must be within the top ten (or 400 points within the leader) by the 26th race of the season to participate in NASCAR's Chase for the Championship.

With Newman's track record at Dover, he is assured an ascension back up the ladder of NEXTEL Cup series points.

"The bottom line is that we've proven we can get around the race track and win there," Newman said. "The determining factor now is we have to go back there and repeat.

"We have no excuse [for failing]. We've been the fastest car [in qualifying] on Friday and best car [in the race] on Sunday. Now we just need to go back and do the best job we can, like we did last year."

Newman will take the green flag from the outside pole for Sunday's 400-mile race.

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