Iseason Preview:/I 12 Ryan Newman

Driver: Ryan Newman
No.: 12
Team: Penske South Racing
Sponsor: ALLTEL
Make: Dodge

2005 Rear View Mirror
Points: 6th
Wins: 1 (New Hampshire)
Poles: 8
Top 5's: 8
Top 10's: 16

The king of qualifying, Newman couldn't transfer that success to raceday in 2005. Despite several Busch Series wins, a trip to victory lane in September at New Hampshire was Newman's only 2005 Cup Series triumph. The No. 12 Dodge team struggled with the new Charger body style, giving Newman a hard car to handle most of the year. Despite making the "Chase<" inconsistency haunted Newman and crew chief Matt Borland.

2006 Prognosis
The Dodge trouble hasn't gone away with Newman and teammate Kurt Busch most likely fielding Intrepids rather than Chargers in the early part of the season. One thing that has gone away is Newman's strained relationship with teammate Rusty Wallace. With Busch now in the fold, maybe some chemistry between the 2 and 12 car will help the entire organization. There's no doubt that this group has the makings to be a powerhouse in 2006.

Race to the Chase
Count Newman in for this year's playoff season again, but he'll have to drastically improve on last season's fade to have any chance of challenging for the title.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2006, Ryan Newman

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