JOLIET, Ill. (July 15, 2007) -- Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, had a strong day at Chicagoland Speedway in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400. After qualifying third for the 267-lap race on the 1.5-mile track, Newman hung...
JOLIET, Ill. (July 15, 2007) -- Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, had a strong day at Chicagoland Speedway in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400.
After qualifying third for the 267-lap race on the 1.5-mile track, Newman hung around the top 10 throughout the event before finishing eighth and moving closer to the top 12 with only seven races remaining before the Chase begins in September.
Newman had trouble at the start of his runs and would fall back a few spots before regaining positions on the track. The car was on the free side for most of the race, but as the runs progressed, the car would begin to tighten and work better for Newman.
Officials looked for oil on the track at lap 46, but when none was found, the teams began making green-flag pit stops. Newman came down pit road on lap 49 for his first stop of the day. Running fifth at the time, crew chief Mike Nelson called for four tires, fuel and one round down on the right-side track bar in an effort to tighten the car.
The caution flag waved just 10 laps later and Nelson brought Newman back down pit road for fuel only, getting Newman back onto the track in third behind Kevin Harvick and Reed Sorenson, who remained on the track.
Newman fell back to eighth after the restart, but climbed to third before making his second green-flag stop on lap 114. The car was really tight during the run, so Nelson had the Mobil 1 crew give Newman's car four tires, fuel and a half-round of wedge in the left rear. The adjustments put the car onto the free side, but the car felt pretty good to Newman.
On lap 140, Newman brushed the wall, causing minor damage to the car's right-front fender and escalating its tight condition. Newman had fallen to 10th by the time the caution flag waved on lap 154 when Jamie McMurray crashed his car.
For Newman's third stop, the Mobil 1 crew put on four fresh tires, gave Newman a full tank of fuel and put one-and-a-half rounds of wedge in the right rear, but because of the damage to the fender, Newman had to pit again on lap 158 for repairs.
Newman restarted in 14th and hovered just outside the top 10 after moving up to 11th in seven laps, but the car was back on the loose side. However, when Newman came in for the fourth time, he didn't want any adjustments to the car and reminded his team that he needed to have old tires at the end of the race.
Newman was back in the top 10 for good on lap 216 and got as high as sixth. After the final restart on lap 256, Newman passed two cars to move up to eighth, earning his eighth top-10 finish of 2007. Newman regained the 13th position in the drivers' standings. He is now only 30 points out of 12th.
The NASCAR Cup Series enjoys its final off-weekend before the season's 17-race stretch that concludes at Homestead in November. Newman, the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team, and NASCAR's top series return to the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the July 29 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. ESPN begins its broadcast of the 2007 NASCAR Cup season at Indianapolis with a 1 p.m. EDT start. IMS radio also will cover the race live.