Ryan Newman has momentum heading to Bristol

Penske driver Ryan Newman's lowest finish to date in 2002, is a 14th place finish at Rockingham. Newman, driver of No.12 Alltel Ford, heads into this weekend's race at Bristol with four top tens and two top five finishes. And for the third week...

Penske driver Ryan Newman's lowest finish to date in 2002, is a 14th place finish at Rockingham.

Newman, driver of No.12 Alltel Ford, heads into this weekend's race at Bristol with four top tens and two top five finishes. And for the third week in a row, Newman sits second in the overall points standings.

Last week at Darlington, Newman qualified third but was forced to a backup car after he cut a tire and wrecked in the final minutes of Happy Hour. The Alltel team was forced to the back of the field and took the green from the 41st starting spot.

Newman not only had to relinquish his third place qualifying position, but he also had to hit the track with a new car which had yet to turn a single lap on any track.

Although, Newman's fifth place finish would tell you otherwise.

"Not only does it give us confidence for finishing in the top five from a team stand point and from a race shop stand point, it's very important to be able to create two cars that are the same. We try to build them as close as we can and to be able to take that same setup that we raced in practice and carry it over to a brand new race car, with a brand new body on it, it's very gratifying to take that racecar and come home in the top five. Because it's a difficult feat, but it gives the team confidence to be able to know that we're doing things the same and we're doing things right."

When the Winston Cup Series makes a stop at Bristol this weekend, Newman is sure to turn to his Penske teammate Rusty Wallace, who has nine career wins at the track. "Any driver would be crazy if he didn't sit down and listen to what Rusty Wallace has to say about racing at Bristol. Being a teammate, it's good to have that as a resource."

What are Newman's keys to victory on the half-mile track? "One of the best ways to start the weekend is to qualify good. If you can qualify good, you get a good pitstall, you get a good opportunity to stay on the lead lap, you get a good opportunity to stay out front. If you have a good racecar and when you stay out front, you got a great possibility and chance to be able to keep the fenders on that racecar to be able to stay on top of your game all day. You can make the strategy but you have to play along with it when it comes to pitting and trying to stay on the lead lap."

He also adds Bristol "is a fun place to race but it can sink you at the same time."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Ryan Newman