Newman Finishes 15Th In Shootout

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In their first NASCAR Winston Cup appearance, Ryan Newman and ALLTEL Team Penske held their own in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway and finished 15th. They also made history by being the first rookie to run in the Shootout.

Newman started from the eighth place for the special event race that pits 2001 pole winners and past event champions against each other for a 70-lap dash. With the new rules Newman and the other Ford teams struggled through the entire race.

He made several attempts to “hook up” with the draft but the new aerodynamics package wasn’t handling as well as they hoped. During the mandatory green flag pit stop Newman and company opted for two tires to gain some position. They pitted on lap 40 in 10th and were running in 6th on lap 42, showing a marked improvement.

Newman stayed toward the front for several laps before being knocked out of line and fell to the rear. He caught his breath at 10th and tried to hold on for the remaining 20 laps but he fell back to a final 15th.

“It was a lot of fun,” Newman said. “We learned a lot about the car and the track and how to race here. I wish I would have had more luck drafting but you don’t usually have many friends at restrictor plate races. I feel better prepared for Thursday and look forward to that next.”

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2002

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