Ryan Newman - Bristol Motor Speedway Notes & Quotes

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  • Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has two poles at Bristol Motor Speedway and six top-10 finishes in his NASCAR Cup career. Newman’s best result at the short track is a second-place effort, which came during the fall night race in 2004.Â


  • In six starts at Bristol in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), Newman has one pole, one win and five top-10 finishes.Â


  • Newman holds the qualifying record at Bristol Motor Speedway. He established the all-time track mark in March 2003, when he turned a qualifying lap of 128.709 mph (14.908 seconds). It was on that qualifying run that Newman earned the nickname “Rocket Man” from the television broadcasters covering the event.Â


  • This Sunday’s race at Bristol won’t be the first time that crew chief Roy McCauley and Newman have tackled the high-banked track together. In 2005, the pair won the NNS race at Bristol in dominating fashion for Penske Racing. After starting third, Newman led 114 laps at the .533-mile bullring. It was one of six races the Newman-McCauley duo won in NNS competition in 2005.Â


  • McCauley followed up his NNS victory at Bristol Motor Speedway with another win at the short track in the spring of 2006 as the crew chief for Kurt Busch and the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge in the NASCAR Cup Series.Â


  • Before heading to Bristol, Newman will travel to Dodge headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., on Thursday to celebrate this season’s Daytona 500 victory with Dodge employees. Newman will take the opportunity to thank Dodge for its continued support and salute the employees for all their hard work. Newman also will visit Penske Corporate Headquarters while in Michigan.Â







GOING TO BRISTOL: “I think the people at Bristol and the speedway did a good job re-doing it. The track is better racing-wise than it ever has been. I think that a lot of the fans are disappointed in the lack of bumping and the lack of pushing that happens now compared to the way it was, but the racing from where I sit is by far better and I look forward to going there. We had a decent run in both the Nationwide and Cup cars there last year and I’m excited about going back there.” 


SURVIVING BRISTOL: “Bristol has always been a game of survival. Everything happens so fast there. It’s really amazing. I learned that in 2003 when I won the pole there. I knew I had a good car, but I never anticipated that I could put down a lap that fast. You just don’t realize how quickly everything happens at Bristol. You could have the best car out there, but it is completely out of your hands. One minute you could be running in the lead and just seconds later, you could be wrecked in the corner and out of the race and it be no fault of your own. You won’t even realize what has happened to you until afterwards. Roy and I have a good history at Bristol together, and we are looking forward to running our first Cup race there together.” 





WINNING AT BRISTOL: “Bristol is its own unique animal, and just because I have led teams that have won, that doesn’t mean that I have any kind of advantage. Just look at Rusty Wallace. He won there nine times, but he also lost there about 40 times, too. My history of winning there is just that — it’s the past. We had the total package at the right time when we won at Bristol in the past — we had a good team, a good driver and a good car. And that’s what it takes to win. We’re going to go to Bristol this weekend with what we think is the best package to win. But at Bristol, you also have to survive. It’s a matter of keeping your nose clean and trying to survive the first 400 laps and putting yourself in position to go for the win in the last 100 laps. We have the driver and team to do that.” 


RACING AT BRISTOL: “The Alltel team had a very good race at Bristol last fall. What they did with the track has been really good for the cars and the teams. The drivers had more lines to race last year, which was a great change. Before there was one line, and there was a good chance you were going to get rooted out of that line and wrecked. Now, they can race. They have helped the cars in that they can survive on this race track, which is easier on the crews and the driver.” 






PRS-527: The No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger at Bristol was first tested at Phoenix International Raceway last week. Bristol will mark the car’s first race action. 

PRS-513: The backup car is the same No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger that has served as the backup at California, Las Vegas and Atlanta already this season. 






Alltel will once again sponsor the “My Circle 500” sweepstakes, a national text-to-win promotion that puts race fans in the driver’s seat for a chance to win a grand prize of up to $500,000. From now until May 3, fans can enter the Alltel “My Circle 500” by texting RACE to 38229 or by logging onto www.alltelracing.com. 


The 10 sweepstakes finalists and their ‘Circle of Friends’ will win an all-expense-paid trip to Charlotte, N.C., May 23-26 to compete in the second annual Alltel “My Circle 500.” The finalists will get in the driver’s seat and take one lap around the go-kart track. Then, it’s up to their ‘Circle of Friends’ to change four tires on the No. 12 Alltel Dodge. The fastest team will be declared the winner and take home at least $200,000. The champions will receive an additional $300,000 if they beat the time of 2008 Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman and the Alltel pit crew – increasing the grand prize purse to $500,000.