Dominant But Not Enough

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Loudon, NH - Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge, finished third in Sunday's Siemens 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Newman led twice for a total of 187 laps.

"The ALLTEL Dodge was great today," Newman said following the race. "It definitely paid-off to test here. Our car stayed the same throughout the race, while the No. 97 and the No. 24 got better. Once they got ahead of me and gained that track position, there was little I could do to get back around them."

Newman earned his fourth pole starting position of the season Friday, his third at the speedway and the 22nd of his career. He jumped out to the immediate lead on Sunday, extending it to almost two seconds by lap 20.

Newman radioed to crew chief Matt Borland that the handling of the ALLTEL Dodge was slightly tight in the center of the corners.

The first caution period of the day occurred on lap 59, allowing Newman to enter pit road for the first time. With four fresh tires and slight adjustments to loosen the handling of the ALLTEL Dodge, Newman exited pit road first, to retain his lead.

Newman again stretched his lead to the two-second mark, before entering pit road for the team's second stop on lap 142. After further adjustments to loosen the handling of the ALLTEL Dodge, Newman again exited pit road with the lead. At halfway, there were no lead changes, as Newman dominated the field. Twenty-one laps later, however, Newman succumbed to the charges of the eventual race winner, Kurt Busch, to fall to second.

The ALLTEL team's third, and final, pit stop occurred on lap 210. Newman had previously reported that the car was extremely tight, forcing him to apply immense pressure to the brakes in the center of each corner. The ALLTEL team made a four-tire pit stop, with track bar and bite adjustments, in only 13.69 seconds. The quick stop helped Newman to reclaim the lead.

The changes to the ALLTEL Dodge, however, made the handling of the car too loose. As Newman entered the corner, Busch was able to slide below him. The pass caused Newman to move high on the track, allowing the No. 24 of Jeff Gordon to get by as well. Newman valiantly tried to regain the lost positions, but was unable to do so. The ALLTEL Dodge team earned a third-place finish, its sixth top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the season.

"I guess we could be frustrated after leading the most laps and not winning, but we're not," Newman continued. "After the last couple of weeks the ALLTEL team has had, we'll definitely take a top-five finish. This was a good points day for us. We're happy with it."

Newman and the ALLTEL team remain 10th in the series point standings, 502 points behind the leader, Jimmie Johnson. Newman trails ninth place by five points, and sixth place by 48 points.

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