Newman Welcomes Darlingtons Challenge

Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger, has one pole, five top-five and six top-10 finishes in nine NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway. His best finish was a second-place effort in the fall of 2002.

In NASCAR Nationwide Series competition at Darlington, Newman has two pole positions in four starts and a best finish of fourth (Sept. 1, 2001).

Newman and the No. 12 Alltel Dodge team were one of three NASCAR Cup Series teams who participated in a three-day Goodyear tire test at the freshly-paved Darlington Raceway in March.

Newman calls Darlington his favorite track. “It has always been my favorite track because you are always adjusting,” he says. “You adjust to the tires, the bumps, the character of the track, the fact that you are running right next to the wall is challenging. It's the most challenging track that we have and that is why I enjoy it the most.” And Newman’s stats reveal his love for the 1.366 mile egg-shaped track. In nine Cup starts, Newman has completed 98.5 percent of the laps at Darlington. He has an average starting position of 7.1 and an average finishing spot of 10.7.

Penske Racing is just two wins shy of reaching the milestone of 300 victories across a variety of racing series. Newman has claimed 24 of Penske Racing’s win total.


“The track is great. It’s super smooth – the transitions are the same – it’s got a ton of grip. It’s really fast. We ran a 28.12 on the ‘controlled tire’ and that I think is three seconds faster than the old race pace in race trim – so it’s super fast. The track drives the same – other than the fact that you don’t slip the tire.”

RACING AT DARLINGTON: “Racing wise, I‘ve always said Darlington is not the perfect race track. To me, it’s my favorite race track to drive – but racing wise – going three and four wide – you’re not going to see it at Darlington. It’s going to be a very important track position race in the essence that if you’re out front – it’s going to be easier to stay out front because it’s difficult to pass there. It’s always been a give and take race track. It’s the give-and-take race track when it comes to passing. We’ll have to adjust our speed and how the cars handle there with this new pavement for sure.”


“After being at Darlington for the test last month, I have to compliment the track administration there because they did a fantastic job of repaving the track. They had several million surface points to replicate what was there. The track is exactly like the old Darlington with the banking, with the grooves, with the lines. They left everything exactly how it was. The difference is there is a lot more grip.”

TESTING AT DARLINGTON: “The test that we did with Goodyear was very good. I feel like we provided Goodyear with a lot of information, and they had to make the decision with the information that we provided and decide what they were going to do for this race. I am pretty confident after our test that Goodyear has all the information they need to bring back the best tire possible. We’re looking forward to this weekend.”


PRS-552: The No. 12 Alltel Dodge for Darlington Raceway is one of Penske Racing’s new cars. It's first race was at Las Vegas in March. It was also the team's backup car at Texas earlier this year.

PRS-519: The backup Alltel Dodge for the Darlington race also served as the backup at Phoenix and Richmond.


May 9: Ryan Newman will be available for a Q&A with the media in the Darlington Raceway media center at 11 a.m. ET.

May 14: Newman will be at the Alltel Store at 6140 Bayfield Parkway in Concord, N.C., from 6-8 p.m. Newman will be part of a webcast from the store at 7:30 p.m. ET, which will be broadcast on Fans can submit questions for Newman through the Alltel Racing web site.

May 23: The Penske Racing Fan Fest will be held at the race shop in Mooresville, N.C.; Newman will be on-hand to sign autographs from 9:30-11 a.m. ET.

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