* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, comes to California Speedway following a whirlwind media tour he embarked on Monday after winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500. After inducting his No. 12 Alltel Dodge...
* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, comes to California Speedway following a whirlwind media tour he embarked on Monday after winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500. After inducting his No. 12 Alltel Dodge into the Daytona 500 Experience at Daytona International Speedway, Newman traveled to New York City for various media commitments, including stops at "Late Night with David Letterman" and "Live with Regis and Kelly." Newman also traveled to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., and then on to California. Newman's favorite part of the week's activities was a meeting with fellow "Regis and Kelly" guest, Larry the Cable Guy. The two laughed and shared stories about a common pastime -- fishing.
* Newman snapped an 81-race Cup winless streak with his victory at Daytona International Speedway and he comes to California Speedway as the current Cup points leader. Newman and his Penske Racing team hope to build on their momentum this weekend. Newman has one pole and three top 10s at California Speedway in his Cup career. His best finish was a third-place effort in 2004. Newman also holds the track qualifying record at California with a lap of 187.432 mph in 2002.
* Newman and crew chief Roy McCauley achieved their goal on Sunday night at Daytona. The tandem, which had combined for six victories in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2005, said their goal was to pick up where they left off -- in victory lane. Newman and McCauley won their last Nationwide race in 2005 together at Homestead-Miami Speedway. On Sunday, they won their first points race together in the NASCAR Cup Series.
* On Monday morning, Newman, team owner Roger Penske and the No. 12 Alltel road crew were on hand as the winning Alltel Dodge was inducted into the Daytona 500 Experience. The winning car, along with Newman's drivers' suit, gloves, shoes and helmet, will be on display at the museum until next year's Daytona 500. Upon induction, Newman told the fans and media that the team had decided to name PRS-521 "Buddy."
"It's named after Buddy Baker because he helped me so much throughout my career," Newman said. "And after our buddy Kurt Busch, because we wouldn't be here without friends like him. He was the push from heaven that helped us win the Daytona 500. I'm lucky to have a teammate like him."
BEING THE DAYTONA 500 CHAMPION: "I think it is still sinking in for me. I was speechless when I crossed the finish line. And I still am in some ways. It has just been an awesome experience. From victory lane, to the car induction ceremony to the media commitments--it's been a very busy week. But it's been a good busy, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's been a whirlwind, but (wife) Krissie and I have really had fun."
RACING AT CALIFORNIA: "We've always run well at California, we just haven't gotten to victory lane. We have a pole there and several top 10s. I think we learned a lot in our test there earlier this year, so I expect our Alltel Dodge to be very competitive. We accomplished our first goal by winning the Daytona 500, now we have to look ahead to our ultimate goal and that is making the Chase and winning the Cup championship."
WINNING THE DAYTONA 500: "It' s been a dream come true for Ryan, for me and for this entire Penske organization. Ryan drove a great race and thanks to our teammates and the team as a whole, we were able to pull one off. We were all part of something very special last weekend. But there is still work to be done, and we are looking ahead to the rest of the season. We have more goals to achieve as a team."
RACING AT CALIFORNIA: "Not to take anything away from Daytona, but California pays just as many points as winning the Daytona 500 did. We were back in the shop working after the champion's breakfast on Monday morning. We learned a lot during our two-day test at California a couple of weeks ago. I feel we have a solid car, and our goal is to work on it and keep making it better throughout the weekend."
PRS-525: This is the car that Newman tested with at both Las Vegas Motor Speedway and California Speedway during the pre-season.
PRS-513: The back-up car is another Charger that the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team tested at California Speedway earlier this month.