MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- For the second time in his career, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, scored a top-five finish at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, and now he's ready to take the team's momentum to Phoenix. "We've been...
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- For the second time in his career, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger, scored a top-five finish at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, and now he's ready to take the team's momentum to Phoenix.
"We've been having some great runs lately and the team was able to pull out a top-five finish at Texas last week despite the fact that the car wasn't the best all weekend," said Newman, who led four laps and spent most of the race in the top 10 en route to recording his best finish at Texas since he won the 2003 Samsung 500.
"The guys did a great job getting the car ready for the race and our pit crew did a great job getting me track position all night."
For their efforts on pit road, the No. 12 Alltel Dodge pit crew earned their third Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge Award this season. The award is given to the team that finishes on the lead lap and spends the least amount of time on pit road during the race. The Alltel team previously earned the award at Dover in June and Pocono in August.
This weekend, Newman and the Alltel Dodge team head to Phoenix International Raceway for the Checker Auto Parts 500. With only two races remaining in the 2007 season, Newman will make his 11th Cup start at the 1-mile track in Avondale, Ariz. It will be his 223rd career start in the Cup Series. Phoenix was the site of Newman's Cup Series debut in 2000 when he started 10th and finished 41st.
Newman has an average start of 9.5 and an average finish of 22.2 at the speedway. He has three Bud Pole Awards, which he earned 2002-04, and he possesses three other top-10 starts at the track.
Newman has two top-10 finishes at Phoenix and three more inside the top 15.
"I've had my ups and downs at Phoenix during my career, but I like racing at the track," Newman said. "We had a decent run going in the spring before we had some problems on pit road."
Newman has led 114 laps in three Phoenix races. He has completed 2,825 laps of a possible 3,123 since he made his debut in 2000. Newman owns a completion rate of 90.2 percent at the Arizona track.
Crew Chief Michael Nelson and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger team will take chassis PRS-525 to Phoenix as their primary car. This car was tested at Atlanta, but it has not been used in a race. The back-up car is chassis PRS-519, which has been the back-up car for the last few COT races, but it has not been used. The last time it was on the track was during a tire testing session at Lowe's Motor Speedway