Ryan Newman Indianapolis Notes Quotes
July 22, 2008 | 6:10 P.M. EST
Newman’s best finish at the 2.5-mile historic oval came in his rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series. Newman started fifth and finished fourth in the Brickyard 400 that year.
Newman has an average starting position of 5.1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Although Newman has yet to win a pole position at the famed race track, he has never qualified lower than eighth position in seven starts. His best qualifying effort came in 2003 when Newman scored the outside pole position and started second for the race.
During the off-week, Newman traveled to his hometown of South Bend, Ind., where a road was named in his honor. The half-mile stretch of highway near the South Bend Regional Airport was renamed Newman Way.
Newman will return to his racing roots this week at Indianapolis when he competes in the USAC Silver Crown race on Thursday night at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Newman, who won the USAC Silver Crown championship in 1999, will pilot car No. 192 owned by Terry Jacobs.
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTES ON:
THE IMPORTANCE OF RACING AT INDIANAPOLIS: “Indianapolis is the ‘race track’ as far as history goes. It is truly an honor to get to race where so many incredible drivers have raced and won. The track is especially special to me because it is in my home state. I remember going there and watching races as a kid with my family and even watching the first open NASCAR test session there as a spectator.”
RACING AT INDIANAPOLIS: “I’ve been close to winning a pole there, and I have had some good runs there. But Indianapolis is a track that has bit us in the past. Despite that, I look forward to going back there. To me, this is the second biggest race of the season. We won the Daytona 500, which I think is the biggest race of the year, and we would love to get another big win at Indianapolis.”
LAST WEEK’S ANNOUNCEMENT THAT NEWMAN WILL LEAVE PENSKE RACING AT THE END OF 2008: “It was an extremely tough decision. I have had a great history with Roger and Penske Racing, and I am grateful for everything that they have done for me. I am completely dedicated to the No. 12 Alltel Dodge, the team, winning races and getting into the Chase.”
ROY MCCAULEY QUOTES ON:
HISTORY OF PENSKE AND INDIANAPOLIS: “Indianapolis is the one that we all want to win. Roger (Penske) and this organization have such an incredible history at the track with Indy cars. We all want to give him a win there in NASCAR side. The Alltel team was able to give Roger his first Daytona 500 win earlier this year, and we would love to complete that picture with a win at the Brickyard.”
KEYS AT INDIANAPOLIS: “There are two keys to Indy—qualifying and not being too tight off the corners so that you can complete the pass. Ryan has always done well qualifying at Indianapolis, and we want to continue that. Our job will be to keep the Alltel Dodge handling well throughout the race. I think that one of our biggest concerns for the first couple of practices will be tire wear because the diamond cut surface is always an issue at Indy. We’re taking a new car this weekend. We took a new car to Chicago and got a top 10, so we are looking forward to this weekend’s race.”
PRS-580: This weekend’s No. 12 Alltel Dodge is a brand new car for the Penske Racing team and Newman. Its first laps will be in Friday’s practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
PRS-552: The backup No. 12 Alltel Dodge served as the team’s primary car at Las Vegas (finished 15th) and at Darlington (finished 37th) earlier this year. It was also the backup car at Texas and Chicago.
GOING ON NOW: Ryan Newman fans can place bids in the Alltel Racing online charity auction at www.alltelracing.com. Various autographed items are up for bid. Net proceeds will benefit the Ryan Newman Foundation.
7/24: Newman will race in the USAC Silver Crown race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The race begins at 9 p.m. ET.
7/25: Newman will be available as part of the NASCAR Cup Series driver press conferences at Indianapolis at 1:15 p.m. ET in the Plaza Pavilion, Chalet D.