* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has three top-five and six top-10 finishes in 13 starts at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. Newman's best finish was a fourth place run (during the fall races in 2003...
* Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has three top-five and six top-10 finishes in 13 starts at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. Newman's best finish was a fourth place run (during the fall races in 2003 and 2005).
* In the spring Talladega race, Newman led five laps en route to an eighth place finish. In the closing laps of the 188-lap event, Newman moved into third and was poised to make a run for the lead. But without a drafting partner, he was shuffled back to the eighth spot. The caution flag waved on the final lap, preventing Newman from having one more run at the race leaders. He took the checkered flag in eighth place.
* Newman has two top-10 finishes on restrictor plate tracks this season. He scored his and Penske Racing's first victory on a restrictor plate track at Daytona International Speedway in the 50th Running of the Daytona 500. Penske Racing cars finished one-two in that race, with Kurt Busch giving teammate Newman the "push from heaven" which helped propel the No. 12 Alltel Dodge to the lead on the final lap.
* In the last three races at Talladega Superspeedway, Newman has not finished outside of the top 10. In addition to his eight place effort at the Alabama track in April, he has a ninth (spring 2007) and fifth (fall 2007) place finish.
* The state to Alabama has long been known as a football powerhouse. Four members of the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team are former college football athletes. Bryan White (jackman) was a linebacker at the University of Virginia; Britt Goodrich (catch can) was a linebacker for N.C. State University; Trent Cherry (rear tire carrier) was a quarterback at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C.; and Ben Brown (front tire changer) was a receiver and cornerback at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C.
* This weekend at Talladega, Dodge is celebrating NASCAR's 60th anniversary with the 'Dodge 60 to Go' program, which awards one prize per lap in the final 60 laps of the AMP Energy 500. To register, visit www.nascar.com/Dodge60togo.
RYAN NEWMAN ON:
RACING AT TALLADEGA: "If you can walk out of a track like Talladega with the fenders on the race car, then you've had a good day. You have to have a fast race car at Talladega. But one of the biggest keys to doing well there is patience. You have to understand and learn to wait your turn if you are not in the main group, like the group that is not in the top five. You have to stay calm in the driver's seat and don't overreact. And you have to be able to predict the unpredictable. It's extremely difficult to predict that there might be a three-car wreck in front of you, but it can be done."
THE TEAMWORK FACTOR: "At Talladega, your teammates are your best friends. Kurt (Busch) and I have worked really well together on multiple occasions at Talladega and of course at the Daytona 500 this year. He was my best friend there. You never know what is going to happen -- pit strategy, who may have damage, where they are on the track--or who is still in the race. But my intention is to have Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. behind me, around me, close to me so that we can help each other in the final three laps of the race."
ROY MCCAULEY ON:
THE 12 TEAM ENJOYING SUCCESS AT RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS: "The 12 team has performed very well this year on restrictor plate tracks, but for different reasons. Daytona is more of a handling track and we worked really hard on 'staying in the gas' in race trim when we were testing. Talladega is more about the driver and track position. Ryan has become one of the premier plate drivers in the series, and because of his talent, other drivers want to work with him. Penske Racing has also put a lot of time into the restrictor plate program with dedicated fabricators and use of the test team for large oval testing and it shows."
TEAMWORK KEY AT TALLADEGA: "Ryan and Kurt (Busch) work extremely well together at restrictor plate tracks, and we have seen that several times--in particular at Daytona. The key is they trust one another to race calmly and smartly. Being able to have that relationship and work well with your teammates is crucial at Talladega -- your teammate is your wingman."
PRS-573: The Talladega primary car is a brand new No. 12 Alltel Dodge. It will turn its first laps on a race track on Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Newman also ran a new car at Talladega in the spring race.
PRS-515: Newman ran the backup No. 12 Alltel Dodge in the Budweiser Shootout in February at Daytona. Newman finished 17th in the Shootout. This car was also the backup for this year's Daytona 500 and the April race at Talladega.