Daytona Disappointment

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Ryan Newman finished 20th at Daytona International Speedway Sunday after a late-race accident on a restart caused extensive damage to the No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge.

"It's definitely a disappointing finish for the ALLTEL team," Newman said. "We had a great race car. A top-five car for sure. We're not exactly pleased with the finish, but the week as a whole was the best we've experienced at Daytona."
Newman started ninth in the prestigious race, his best career start at the speedway. The first caution period of the race occurred on lap 14 when the No. 18 lost its engine. The ALLTEL team made a quick stop for four tires and fuel, returning Newman to the track in 14th place. In the next 50 laps, Newman charged through the field and into the top five.

While racing in the top five, Newman brushed the turn four outside wall. The incident caused minor damage to the ALLTEL Dodge's right front fender. A caution for debris on lap 85 allowed the team to enter pit road for repairs. The time spent on pit road was costly, as Newman rejoined the field in 31st place. Newman displayed his racing talent as he moved back into the top 10 only 17 laps later.

Newman continuously moved in and out of the top 10 until the team's eighth pit stop on lap 162. As the ALLTEL team performed its stop, the No. 9 and No. 11 collided on pit road, blocking Newman in his pit box. The extended time pushed Newman near the rear of the field. Crew chief Matt Borland decided to make extra pit stops during the caution to top off with fuel. When the race restarted on lap 165, Newman was 31st.

Once again, Newman drove the ALLTEL Dodge into the top 10. On lap 183, the caution flag was waved once again when a multi-car accident occurred in turn four. On the restart, several cars bunched up, causing Newman to hit the car in front of him, as the ALLTEL Dodge was hit from behind. The accident caused severe damage to the ALLTEL Dodge's nose, taking the car out of contention for the victory.

The ALLTEL team performed several pit stops for repairs and managed to keep Newman on the lead lap. Newman survived the final laps of the race to finish 20th. The ALLTEL team will enter California Speedway next weekend 19th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings.

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