MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2007) â€“ And then there were twoâ€¦. Itâ€™s down to the final two races before the Chase for the Championship begins in Loudon, N.H., in three weeks, and Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, remains...
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2007) – And then there were two…. It’s down to the final two races before the Chase for the Championship begins in Loudon, N.H., in three weeks, and Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, remains in 14th, just 175 points out of the 12th and final Chase spot.
“It’s getting down to the last couple of races to make it into the Chase and we need two more good runs in order to qualify this year,” Newman said. “We’re working hard on our end, but all we can do is wait and see what happens.”
This weekend, the teams head to California Speedway for the Sharp AQUOS 500. It will be Newman’s 10th start at the 2-mile track and his 213th in the Cup Series.
Newman has an average starting spot of 11.7 and an average finish of 17.3 at California. He has one Bud Pole Award and three other top-10 starts, including a top five in 2003. Newman has three top-10 finishes, including a career-best third in April 2004.
The Indiana native has led three races for a total of seven laps and has completed 2,035 laps of a possible 2,255 for a 90.2 percent completion rate.
Newman also will receive a little extra practice this weekend, as he drives the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger in Saturday night’s NASCAR Busch Series race.
It will be Newman’s second Busch race at the Southern California track and his 37th in the Busch Series.
In Newman’s only Busch start at California, he started second and finished second and led 15 laps during the 150-lap race. Newman has completed 100 percent of the laps possible at California – 150 of 150.
“Our only other Busch race at California went really well," Busch said. "We qualified second and finished second and it was a great effort by our team. Last weekend, in Bristol, we had a great time and we tried a strategy that almost got us a win, but we just didn’t have enough left at the end. We were racing for the win, not points, and it was a great time. I had a lot of fun and I look forward to doing the same thing this weekend in California.”
Crew chief Matt Gimbel and the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger Busch team will take chassis PBC-013, which is a new car. The back-up car is PBC-007, which raced in Las Vegas and Texas earlier this year with Kurt Busch at the wheel and in Richmond by Sam Hornish Jr.
Crew Chief Michael Nelson and the No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger Cup team will take PRS-108 to Fontana, which raced in Chicago in July and at Michigan two weeks ago. The back-up car is chassis PRS-071, which saw action at Charlotte in May and at the first Michigan race in June.