Chase Starts Now For Newman

There are five races left to qualify for this year's "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" and Ryan Newman needs to start a late regular season run to make it to the playoffs.

Newman trails his Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch by 90 points in the race for the final transfer spot and time is starting to run out.

After starting out the summer portion of the schedule in solid fashion with two straight runner-up finishes, Newman has struggled the last couple months.

He has posted three top 10s since the June race at Michigan, but has also endured finishes of 37th and 42nd, the latter a bitter end to his Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Last week Newman was back on track with a seventh place run at Pocono, a performance he hopes will carry him into this weekend's second road course race of the season at Watkins Glen International Raceway.

Newman posted a 20th-place finish in the last Cup road race at Infineon Raceway in June, but had a better car than that position indicates.

A fuel mileage glitch shuffled Newman out of contention, something he doesn't want a repeat of this weekend at The Glen.

"We had a good run at Infineon, but our fuel strategy didn't pay off like we thought it would," Newman said.

He's looking for better things Sunday.

"I like racing at Watkins Glen," Newman said. "We're taking the same car that we had at Infineon and I think we'll have a good shot at winning this Sunday."

Newman will do double duty this weekend, taking part in Saturday's Zippo 200 Busch Series race as well.

"Last year, we had a freak accident that caused the engine to basically explode, but we won there two years ago and we're looking to do that again," said Newman, who has led nine laps in the two Busch races and has completed 111 laps of a possible 165, leaving him with a 67.3 percent completion rate.

"I like driving the road courses and I think Watkins Glen is a better road course to race at than Infineon. There's more opportunity to pass and I think the racing is a little more competitive. I'm looking forward to getting back to The Glen."

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