Double Chances Swept Away

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JOLIET, Ill. - Ryan Newman came up short in his bid to sweep the weekend's events at Chicagoland Speedway, but the former race winner still feels confident about his chances in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400.

After winning the pole for Saturday's Busch race, Newman dominated the first half of the race. But a penalty for too many men over the wall during a late race pit stop thwarted his chance to make a trip to Victory Lane.

Despite the penalty, Newman rallied back to finish third and although it wasn't a win, he seemed somewhat satisfied about th eperformance.

"We had a great car and just some bad luck and a mistake stopped us from being in position to win," Newman said. "But I think we learned some things that will help us out on Sunday."

The South Bend, Indiana native considers Chicagoland Speedway "kind of a home track," as many family members and friends make the trek just over the border to watch him race.

Chicagoland has been a track that Newman seems to like for more reasons than just its proximity to his homestate. Newman, historically, has been impressive at the 1.5-mile speedway, earning two top-five finishes in only three starts. Newman won his third of eight races at Chicagoland Speedway in 2003. In his first appearance at the speedway in 2002, Newman earned his third career pole.

"The Alltel/Mobil 1 team has experienced its fair share of Cup success at Chicagoland, so it's always a track we enjoy going back to," Newman said. "The track is a lot like Michigan, smooth and fun to race on. To win at this track, a good car with good, consistent balance is a must. If you're off at all, you're way off and it's hard to come back from that."

Matt Borland, crew chief of the No. 12 Alltel/Mobil 1 Dodge NNCS entry, feels the team has made great strides in the set-ups of the 2005 Dodge Charger. These strides should lead to a strong finish this weekend in Chicago."

"I think if we hit everything right, we'll be in pretty good shape for qualifying and I think we'll have a pretty solid run. I think we've made some gains, but there are still a lot more we can make and hopefully, we can get it figured out before the Chase starts."

The USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway will air live on NBC on Sunday at 3 p.m. (ET) and also can be heard on MRN Radio.

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