Atlanta II: Ryan Newman preview

Strong Finish at Martinsville Leads into Atlanta Weekend for Newman MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 23, 2007) -- For the third time in 2007, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, finished just outside victory lane when the yellow flag...

Strong Finish at Martinsville Leads into Atlanta Weekend for Newman

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 23, 2007) -- For the third time in 2007, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, finished just outside victory lane when the yellow flag came out during the green-white-checker finish at Martinsville Speedway, leaving Newman in second behind last weekend's race winner Jimmie Johnson. Newman also finished second at Dover and Pocono earlier this year.

When asked if he would've had a shot at the win if the yellow flag hadn't waved, Newman replied, "I know I would have had a shot at him [Johnson]. I had my nose at his left-rear tire at the start/finish line getting the white flag,"

Newman also said during his post-race interview that "it's over."

"I would have liked to have said, 'Yeah, I could've passed him on the inside.' He went into turn three, drifted up, over-braked, got loose, drifted up and gave me an opportunity," Newman continued. "I didn't think that was going to happen. He was really strong. I think he struggled a little more on restarts. I thought mine was really good on restarts. But it just never happened."

This week, Newman will try for his first win in 77 races, as he makes his 12th Cup start at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the 221st of his Cup career in Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500.

Newman possesses an average start of 3.1 and an average finish of 17.2. All but one of Newman's starts at Atlanta have been from the top 10, including seven Bud Pole Awards. Newman and mentor Buddy Baker are tied for the most poles at the Georgia track. Newman's only non-top 10 start came in October 2006 when qualifying was rained out.

Newman has four top-five finishes at AMS. He has five other finishes inside the top 25.

Newman has led 159 laps in nine races at Atlanta. He has completed 99.6 percent of the laps possible at the intermediate track -- 3,483 of 3,498 -- since he made his Cup debut at the track in 2002.

"We've been having some really good runs the last few weeks, beginning with Talladega," Newman said. "We did really well at Charlotte until the truck arm broke with two laps to go, but I think we've improved a lot on our intermediate-track program, so we're looking forward to Atlanta.

"We're taking a good car with us. We got the pole back in March and had to replace the engine before the race, so we started in the back and just couldn't get things going from there. Hopefully, we'll have some better luck this time around."

Crew chief Mike Nelson and the Mobil 1 Dodge team will take chassis PRS-108 as the primary car. This is the same car Newman drove in Michigan back in August when he qualified 34th and finished 16th after a two-day rain delay. The back-up car for Atlanta will be PRS-082, which was tested at Kentucky earlier this year, but has not been used in a race.

-credit: pr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Buddy Baker