Newman Team Switches Numbers
December 10, 2001 | 2:00 P.M. EST
Penske Racing South made the announcement Monday, citing the “equity position and history the team has with the number,” the team said. Penske Racing used No. 12 with the Mobil 1 Ford for Jeremy Mayfield and Mike Wallace, but team owner Roger Penske decided to close that team down.
Instead, Penske will field two teams, one for Newman and one for Rusty Wallace (No. 2).
Newman will benefit from a much higher points position than his No. 02 team. In seven races in 2001, Newman finished 46th in car owner points. But the No. 12 team finished 20th. Provisionals in the first four races of the 2002 season are based on the 2001 car owner points standings.
Penske’s association with No. 12 began in the 1970s when Bobby Allison drove Penske cars with the number. When Penske bought into Michael Kranefuss’ team at the start of the 1998 season, Mayfield switched from No, 37 to No. 12.
Mayfield departed the No. 12 car before the race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October, and Mike Wallace had several good runs in the car. But Penske shut that team down, moving sponsor Mobil 1 to an associates’ role on Newman’s and Rusty Wallace’s cars.