Pocono II: Ryan Newman preview

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 31, 2007) -- When Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, visited Pocono Raceway seven weeks ago, he was coming off his best finish of the season at Dover where he placed second after starting on the ...

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 31, 2007) -- When Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, visited Pocono Raceway seven weeks ago, he was coming off his best finish of the season at Dover where he placed second after starting on the pole.

This time, Newman will visit the 2.5-mile track in Long Pond, Pa., after his worst finish of the season at Indianapolis, but Newman and the Mobil 1 Dodge team expect to have the same success they enjoyed two months ago.

"It seems like every time we get close to breaking into the top 12 we have a problem on the track that we can't control that stalls our momentum," Newman said. "We were very fortunate at Indy to have only lost a little ground to the 12th-place driver."

Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 will be Newman's 12th Cup start at Pocono and the 209th of his career in NASCAR's premier series. Newman has an average start of 9.5 and an average finish of 14.2. Six of Newman's starts have been from the top 10, including five from the top five and two from the pole.

Newman has five top-five finishes at Pocono, including a win in the July 2003 event. Newman's last race at the Pennsylvania track ended with the Alltel Dodge in second place behind Jeff Gordon. Rain ended the race just as Newman was passing Gordon for the lead.

"After the success we had at Pocono in June, I think everyone on this team is looking forward to going back there and having the same kind of success," Newman said. "This time, though, I'll try to make the pass for first a little earlier."

Newman has led 160 laps in eight races at Pocono. He has completed 97.6 percent of the laps possible at Pocono -- 2,035 of 2,085 -- since he made his Cup debut at the speedway in 2002.

Crew chief Mike Nelson and the Mobil 1 Dodge team will take chassis PRS-104 as the primary car. This is the same car Newman drove in June at Pocono. Newman qualified on the pole, earning his third straight Bud Pole Award and his fourth of the season. The back-up car is PRS-097, which has been tested at Kentucky and Nashville this year.

ESPN and MRN Radio will cover the Pennsylvania 500 live beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.

-credit: pr

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Series NASCAR-CUP