Ryan Newman Watkins Glen Notes Quotes

Ryan Newman, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger, has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in six NASCAR Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen International.

Newman’s best finish at Watkins Glen International was a second place effort during his 2002 rookie season. Newman started fifth in that race, led 11 laps, and was the runner-up in the 90-lap event.

Newman started ninth and finished seventh in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series season’s other road course event at Infineon Raceway in June.

Newman is currently 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver point standings. With five races remaining, he is 173 points away from the 12th place “cutoff” for the 2008 “Chase for the Championship.”

Newman will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Watkins Glen in the No. 22 Dodge for Fitz Motorsports on Saturday afternoon, August 9. Newman has one win (2005) and two top-10 finishes in three NNS starts at the 2.45-mile road course.

In advance of this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen, Newman visited the Buffalo Bills NFL Training Camp at St. John Fisher College, in Pittsford, NY. Although Newman isn’t an avid football fan, several of his pit crew members played football while in college. In fact, Newman visited with Bills starting offensive guard Brad Butler, who was a teammate and college roommate at the University of Virginia with Bryan White, the No. 12 team’s jackman.


“It’s a fun race track for us. I really enjoy the road course at Watkins Glen. I have a lot of fun there. When we finish, we finish well. We’ve had some brake problems in the past and a transmission problem one year, and that’s why our finishes aren’t as good as our starting position. It’s a place where it pays dividends to qualify up front, start up front and have that track position.” (Newman’s average starting position at Watkins Glen is 8.8. His average finishing position is 14.7).

KEYS TO WATKINS GLEN: “The biggest thing about racing at a road course is being smooth as a driver and being considerate of the other drivers around you. There are some key points at Watkins Glen, too. Turn one has some rumbles in it. You can wheel hop pretty easily getting into turn one. The esses are all about finesse going up the hill. And the fastest part of the race track is going into the bus stop where you have to brake really hard. You try to carry as much speed over there and not over-brake. You can gain and lose so much time in braking. The bus stop and the carousel are all smooth and finesse for 90 degree turns. You have to get them right.”


“Penske Racing has a really good history at Watkins Glen, and I personally like the place. I have three poles there in Nationwide and Cup with both Ryan and Kurt (Busch). And have won with both of them in NNS. Qualifying is obviously very important. But the real key to the Glen is being able to get through the carousel, to carry enough speed getting through the long sweeping corner and coming off if it to get a good run down the backchute. The carousel, turn one and getting through the esses are very important. We’re not talking about points right now, but the bottom line is that we have to kick, scratch, do whatever it takes to get in the Chase. We’re going no holds barred and taking all the chances we need to so we can win races and get in the chase.”


The primary No. 12 Kodak Dodge for this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen International is the same car that Newman piloted to a seventh place finish at Infineon Raceway in June. Newman also drove the car at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.

PRS-509: The backup No. 12 Kodak Dodge served as the team’s primary car at Phoenix International Raceway where Newman sat on the pole and led 37 laps. It was also the backup car at Martinsville and Infineon.


Ryan Newman fans can place bids for unique autographed items in the Alltel Racing online charity auction at www.alltelracing.com. Net proceeds will benefit the Ryan Newman Foundation.

8/8: Newman will travel to Frontier Field in Rochester, NY for the Rochester Red Wings AAA baseball game on Friday night. Kodak, the primary sponsor for the No. 12 team at Watkins Glen, is also a sponsor of the Red Wings. Newman is scheduled to sign autographs at the game for the fans.

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