Dover II: Raybestos Rookie preview

*Raybestos® Rookie Contender Ryan Newman scored his first career win in New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The win came in his 35th career Winston Cup start and moved him from 10th to eighth in Winston Cup...

*Raybestos® Rookie Contender Ryan Newman scored his first career win in New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The win came in his 35th career Winston Cup start and moved him from 10th to eighth in Winston Cup points.

*Newman led the New Hampshire race three times for 143 laps, the most of any driver. He led the most laps for the second consecutive race and for the third time this season. He unofficially leads Jimmie Johnson by 24 points (328-304) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings.

*Newman and Jimmie Johnson became the third pair of Raybestos® Rookies to win in their rookie season. They joined Morgan Shepherd (Martinsville) and Ron Bouchard (Talladega) in 1981 and Matt Kenseth (Charlotte) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Texas and Richmond) in 2000.

*Newman has now been Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in 14 races this season. He has finished in the top-five in both races at New Hampshire. Newman has finished second four times in 2002, including the last two consecutive races prior to his victory. His 13 top-five finishes are the most of all drivers this season.

*Newman was the only Raybestos® Rookie to lead a lap at New Hampshire.

*Newman won the pole position at New Hampshire. His lap of 28.802 seconds, 132.241 mph set a new track qualifying record at New Hampshire. The pole was Newman's fourth in 35 Winston Cup races and his third of the 2002 season.

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*Johnson finished ninth at New Hampshire, his 16th top-10 of the 2002 season. He is just 40 points behind point leader Mark Martin and 34 behind second place Sterling Marlin. Johnson leads fourth place Tony Stewart by 19 and fifth place Jeff Gordon by 27 points.

*Johnson won his fourth pole of the season at Richmond, which ties him with Bill Elliott for most poles in 2002.

*Entering the New Hampshire event, Newman has been the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie in five of the last six races where time trials were held (Brickyard 400 through Monte Carlo 400). Newman has been highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie 15 times in 2002.

*Johnson has led more miles this season than any other Raybestos® Rookie entering Sunday's race at New Hampshire. He has led 21 times in 10 races for 818.75 miles (574 laps).

*Johnson has led the most laps in two races this season: the Coca-Cola 600 and the MBNA Platinum 400.

*Johnson won his second race of the 2002 season in the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover this past June. Johnson led four times for 188 laps, the most of any driver and officially won the race by .478 seconds over Bill Elliott. Fellow rookie Newman started 38th but rallied back to place fourth. Johnson started 10th and was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie.

*Newman started on the pole in the 2001 September Busch Series race at Dover and led the race twice for a whopping 141 laps, more than any other driver. Newman was credited with a 21st place finish.

*2001 Raybestos® Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick was the highest finishing rookie in last year's All American 400 at Dover, taking a sixth place finish completing all 400 laps of the race. Casey Atwood also had a good day at Dover, coming away with a ninth place finish on the lead lap.

*Harvick and Atwood were the only Raybestos® Rookies to finish in the top-10 and the only first year drivers to finish on the lead lap. They were also the only rookies that were running at the finish of the race. Accidents forced Ron Hornaday (34th) and Andy Houston (40th) to drop out of the race while engine problems sidelined Kurt Busch (41st).

*Ron Hornday was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie. Hornaday started eighth, the only rookie to qualify inside the top-10.

* No Raybestos® Rookie led a lap at Dover.

*The Raybestos® Rookie Class of 2002 made history during qualifying for the Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond. Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the event and Newman started second completing the first all-rookie front row in Winston Cup racing's modern era (1972-present).

*A Raybestos® Rookie has posted multiple victories five times in NASCAR Winston Cup history: Davey Allison (two wins in 1987), Tony Stewart (three wins in 1999), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two wins in 2000), Kevin Harvick (two wins in 2001, and Jimmie Johnson (two wins in 2002).

*A Raybestos® Rookie Contender has now won at least one race in each of the last four seasons dating back to Tony Stewart's win at Richmond in September, 1999. Other freshman drivers to win: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond, 2000), Matt Kenseth (Charlotte, 2000), and Kevin Harvick (Atlanta, 2001).

*When Johnson and Newman won poles at Talladega and California in consecutive races, it was the first time since 1965 that a rookie won the pole position in back to back events. The last driver to accomplish the feat was Dick Hutcherson when he took the top starting spot at Myrtle Beach and Valdosta.

*By winning the pole for the Daytona 500, Johnson joined Loy Allen (1994) and Mike Skinner (1997) as the only drivers in their rookie season to win the pole for the Daytona 500. He is also among an elite group of modern era (since 1972) drivers who have won poles early in their careers. Johnson won his first Winston Cup pole position in just his fourth career start. Ryan Newman and Mark Martin both won a pole in their third career start, while Johnny Benson won his first career pole in his fourth start.

<pre> RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE CONTENDER POINT STANDINGS

DRIVER              POINTS
Ryan Newman            328
Jimmie Johnson         304
Shawna Robinson         81
Carl Long               32

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Shawna Robinson , Sterling Marlin , Andy Houston , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Atwood , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jimmie Johnson , Dick Hutcherson , Morgan Shepherd , Carl Long , Mark Martin , Davey Allison