Richmond II: Ryan Newman preview

* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has one victory, four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 13 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). His win came during the 2003 fall race. In...

* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has one victory, four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 13 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). His win came during the 2003 fall race. In that race, Newman started fourth and led 125 laps before claiming victory in the 400-lap event.

* In the spring race at RIR, Newman qualified 10th and finished in sixth place.

* Newman also has one pole position and two runner-up finishes at the .75-mile Virginia oval in NASCAR Cup Series competition. Both of Newman's second-place efforts came in his 2002 rookie season.

* Newman calls Richmond his favorite short track on the Cup Series schedule, and his stats back that up. He has completed 97.7 percent of the laps in the 13 races he has competed in at the track. He has an average starting position of 8.9 and an average finishing spot of 10.7.

* In four NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Richmond, Newman has posted two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

* Athleticism plays a big role in racing -- take a look at the No. 12 Alltel Dodge pit crew for the proof. Four members of the over-the-wall team are 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 others 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:

RACING AT RIR: "Richmond is a fun race. It's under the lights on Saturday night, so it's always exciting. I think it is probably the best short track we have on the NASCAR circuit. We can go two and three wide at Richmond and there is always some beating and banging on the race track. It's a little harder to beat and bang with the new car because the bumpers line up, but I think the fans will get a pretty cool show on Saturday night."

KEY TO RACING AT RIR: "The key to racing at Richmond is that you have to be considerate of the entries to the corners. Turn one is sweeping and you have to be sensitive to getting loose there. Turn three is pretty much a 90 degree corner and turn four opens up, so you will see a lot of passing there. Both ends are different so it really is a driver's race track. It's a place where it is rewarding to be patient and smooth, but you also have to be aggressive at times, too."

ROY MCCAULEY:

THE MAY RACE AT RIR: "We had a hard fought sixth-place finish at Richmond in the spring. The car wasn't that good and it was a team effort to get a top 10. We know that we have to make our car better to be able to duplicate that feat or even with the race this time around. Not making the chase doesn't change our focus--we are still here to win races and that's still our goal each time we unload at the track. Ryan has a great track record at Richmond, and we would like to continue that this weekend."

KEYS AT RIR: "At Richmond, the key is to keep your nose clean the first 300 laps and stay on the lead lap so that you have a shot at the win in those final 100 laps. You can't be too loose getting into the corners or too tight in the center, which is something that you typically fight at Richmond--even with the old car. Since this is an impound race, we'll be working on the race trim handling of the car in practice. And we'll hope for a late qualifying draw. We would like to start up front since it is a short track."

CHASSIS NOTES

PRS-555: The No. 12 Alltel Dodge that Newman will pilot at Richmond International Raceway served as the primary car at Charlotte in May (finished 21st) and the August Pocono race (finished 14th).

PRS-580: The backup Alltel Dodge for the Richmond race is the same car Newman competed with at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Newman started third and finished 13th in that race.

-credit: pr

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