ALLTEL Calls On Newman
October 25, 2001 | 12:00 P.M. EST
ALLTEL has announced that it will continue to sponsor cars run by Penske Racing South and Ryan Newman, who will race for Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors next season.
Penske Racing will field Fords for Newman and for veteran Rusty Wallace next season. There is still no word what will happen with Mobil 1, the sponsor for Penske’s No. 12 Taurus for the past few years, or whether or not Penske will even field a third team next season.
ALLTEL officials were ecstatic about their plans of racing full time in the Winston Cup Series with Newman in 2002.
“When we were putting together the program for this past year, we had no idea Ryan would learn his ‘ABC’s’ as quickly as he did with the ‘ABC’ (ARCA, Busch, Winston Cup) schedule we planned for him (in 2001),” said ALLTEL President Scott Ford.
“With that in mind, we can’t wait for the 2002 season to kick off with the ALLTEL Ford in Daytona. We are very proud to be a part of Penske Racing and to be behind Ryan as he competes for rookie of the year honors.”
Newman has competed in 21 combined ARCA RE/MAX, NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup Series events so far this season. He has recorded seven poles (including five in the Busch Series), two victories (one in ARCA and one in Busch), five top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
Newman is scheduled to participate in the Checker Auto Parts 500K this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, as well as Busch Series events the following two weeks at North Carolina Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
One of the 2001 poles was the Winston Cup Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May, which makes him eligible for the Bud Shootout in February at Daytona. His ARCA victory came at Daytona in February, and his Busch Series triumph came at Michigan International Speedway in August.
“This past season was all preparation for 2002, and now that we’re gearing up for our first full season, I’m excited that ALLTEL is continuing to support Penske Racing and myself,” Newman said. “Our success this season is hopefully only the beginning of continued success on the Winston Cup circuit. As a driver, you can only hope for a great team and a great sponsor behind you, and I’m fortunate to have both so early in my career.”
Mike Wallace is currently driving the No. 12 Mobil 1 Taurus, and will ride out the rest of the season in that machine. Jeremy Mayfield was recently released from the seat of that car.
As he’s done for years, Rusty Wallace will continue to drive the No. 2 Miller Lite Taurus next season.